The state of Connecticut is expecting to end the year with a $22.9 million budget deficit, according to Office of Policy and Management Secretary Melissa McCaw.
In her monthly letter to state Comptroller Kevin Lembo, McCaw wrote: “While the projected shortfall represents only about 0.1 percent of the General Fund, agencies are making efforts to curtail hiring and discretionary expenditures, and the governor is prepared to exercise recission authority if necessary to mitigate against ending the year with an operating deficit.”
Lembo’s most recent estimate was that the state would end the year with a $31.6 million deficit.
Connecticut’s rainy day fund is on track to end the year with $2.8 billion, or 13.9% of the general fund, by the beginning of the next fiscal year, according to McCaw.
In her letter, McCaw estimates a net shortfall of $18.9 million, including projected shortages of $35 million in the State Employees’ Health Service Cost account to reflect higher than expected claims experience and premium costs; $1.5 million in the Employers’ Social Security Tax account; and $1.4 million in the state employees retirement defined contribution match account.
“Partially offsetting these shortfalls are a projected lapse of $2.5 million in the Unemployment Compensation account; a $3 million lapse in the Other Post Employment Benefits account; and a $13.5 million lapse in the Higher Education Alternate Retirement Program (ARP), which is attributable to 1,600 employees shifting from ARP to SERS as an outcome of a grievance award,” McCaw wrote.
Other factors contributing to the budget shortfall include $6.5 million at the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection; $1.5 million at the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services; $13.8 million in the Department of Social Services Medicaid account; $1.8 million at the Office of Early Childhood; and $11 million at the Department of Correction.
Lembo’s next budget projection will be released on Jan. 2.