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Justin Theal, an officer with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ State Fiscal Health team, calls Connecticut “one of the most financially secure states going into the recession.”
Meanwhile, State Comptroller Kevin Lembo is projecting the state’s General fund will close Fiscal Year 2020 – which ended on June 30 -- with an operating shortfall of $153.1 million.
Even with the gloomy forecast -- which Office of Policy and Management Secretary Melissa McCaw said were conservative -- "Connecticut is in a stronger position than most states, thanks to our fiscal prudence and the safeguarding of our budget reserve," according to Democratic state Senate leaders Martin Looney and Bob Duff.
The $2.5 billion in the state’s Budget Reserve Fund (also known as the Rainy Day Fund) puts Connecticut "in pretty good shape" through at least June 30, said Gov. Ned Lamont. “Obviously, this is the rainy day,” added Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management Melissa McCaw. “We are well-positioned to weather this storm.”
Lamont’s $22.3 budget proposal keeps taxes essentially flat, while projecting a Budget Reserve Fund of $2.8 billion by the close of Fiscal Year 2020.
Meanwhile, the state’s budget deficit is projected to grow from about $28 million to roughly $60 million, due in part to its recent settlement with state hospitals.
Treasurer Shawn Wooden says that the Republicans' proposal "especially in the event of a possible future recession, creates serious liquidity, market and credit risks for the state.”
House Democratic leaders have proposed a new plan that would install highway tolls for trucks only on 12 bridges across the state, as opposed to Gov. Ned Lamont’s CT2030 initiative, which would have included tolls on 14 bridges for all vehicles.
Moody’s said this was a welcome development in view of Connecticut’s fiscal problems.