Connecticut is on pace to end the fiscal year nearly $200 million in the red according to a projection released this week by State Comptroller Kevin Lembo.
The projected $197.7 million deficit could be partly offset by April’s economic data, noted Lembo, the only statewide elected official seeking re-election this year. His deficit projection is slightly higher than the Office of Policy and Management’s projection because it includes an approximately $35 million anticipated deficiency in the state’s Adjudicated Claims account that pays out settlements, including the ongoing SEBAC v. Rowland claims, related fees and other state settlements.
Lembo also noted that the collection of tax receipts this month and the April 30 consensus revenue forecast could also result in a different deficit figure. Furthermore, he noted the recent annual release by the New York state comptroller that determined bonuses for the securities industry – which includes many Connecticut residents – increased 17 percent year-over-year, with a total bonus pool of $31.4 billion and an average bonus of $184,220.
“Of course, broader and more sustained growth is needed to stabilize Connecticut’s budgetary position in light of the fiscal challenges facing our state,” Lembo said. “Ultimately, Connecticut’s overall budget results are largely dependent upon the performance of the national and state economies.”