[IN THE NEWS] Connecticut coffers swell to record levels despite vanishing federal COVID relief

January 19, 2022
GOP lawmaker: CT must keep using surpluses to reduce pension debt
Minority Republicans in the Senate want to temporarily roll the state sales tax back from 6.35% to 5.99% and suspend the 1% surcharge on restaurant food and other prepared meals.
State Sen. Henri Martin of Bristol, ranking GOP senator on the Finance Committee, said providing some modest tax relief is important, but officials also must continue dedicating most of this projected surplus to reduce Connecticut’s massive pension debt.
Because the state’s rainy day fund, which holds $3.1 billion, already is at its legal maximum at 15% of annual operating costs, any projected surplus not spent on programs or use to fund tax relief would be used to pay down pension debt.
The state has nearly $41 billion in unfunded pension obligations stemming from more than seven decades of inadequate savings, and analysts project this will continue to place pressure on other programs in the budget well into the 2040s.
“I think we stay steady,” Martin said. “I think it would be too premature to make any type of significant changes.”
Read the entire article as published by the Courant on 1/19/2022 HERE.