Feb 1 Connecticut will end fiscal 2013 with a
budget deficit of $140 million, well above earlier projections,
a top state budget official said on Friday.
Comptroller Kevin Lembo wrote in a letter to state governor
Dannel Malloy that revenue projection had eroded by $33.9
million, while the weak economy meant the demands on social
services were set to come in $75.6 million above what the Office
of Policy Management had forecast.
The more pessimistic outlook comes just weeks after the
Connecticut legislature approved a deficit mitigation plan. The
plan, passed in December, combined with the spending cuts was
intended to cover most of the $365 million deficit the Malloy
administration was then projecting.
Like many other states, Connecticut is struggling to plug
budget shortfalls after recession eroded revenue sources and
placed a greater burden on social services.
"The slow growth in the national economy has created
increasing demand for state services while at the same time
producing lower revenue," Lembo said in statement. "Even after
the national economy improves, there is a lag before state
budget realizes the full benefit."
Lembo said, however, that there was still room for the
projection to improve before the end of the fiscal year on June
30. He noted that only half of the general fund revenue was
collected as of the December.
The state's financial year started on July 1, 2012, and the
overall budget is about $20 billion. Malloy, a Democrat, is
scheduled to present the new budget on Feb. 6.
Malloy said recently that the state could borrow up to $1.8
billion in 2013 to fund infrastructure projects, including
school security upgrades after the deadly December shooting at
Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.