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DEFICIT WATCH: Lembo Projects $198M Deficit, 20% Higher Than Leg Estimate

April 5, 2018 By Staff
DEFICIT WATCH: Lembo Projects $198M Deficit, 20% Higher Than Leg Estimate

The comptroller published his estimate of the budget deficit on Monday, and it's 20 percent worse than what the legislature's fiscal office projected last week.

Comptroller Kevin Lembo (D-Conn.) projected the state is facing a $197.7-million deficit in the fiscal year (FY) ending September 30, according to a press release from the comptroller on Monday.

Comptroller Kevin Lembo today projected that the state is on track to end the fiscal year with a $197.7-million deficit, but said there are factors that demand watch, including April receipts and significant growth in Wall Street bonuses over the last year.

In a letter to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Lembo said that his deficit projection is once again slightly higher than the Office of Policy and Management’s (OPM) projection due to a larger anticipated deficiency (approximately $35 million) in the state’s Adjudicated Claims account – the account responsible for paying the ongoing SEBAC v. Rowland claims, related fees and other state settlements.

For those keeping score at home, Lembo’s projection is 20 percent ($35 million) more than what the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA) projected the deficit would be just last week.

Another month, another projection for a $163 million deficit in Connecticut’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget.

A 20-percent-higher deficit means a 20-percent-higher problem for the governor and the legislature, which must work before the end of FY 2018 – and, in particular, before the end of the legislative session in May – to close the gap.