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State Budget Deficit up Another $50 Million

Officials for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy disagree with the Connecticut comptroller's deficit figures, but acknowledge they must now file a deficit mitigation plan with the legislature.

State Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo says the state's mushrooming budget deficit has jumped by another $50 million, bringing the official deficit figure today to $415 million.

However, because of a technical accounting glitch, Lembo's office has not factored in to that figure Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's recently ordered budget cuts, the Connecticut Mirror reports. 

When those cuts are calculated, the website reports, it brings the actual deficit closer to $290 million. 

Malloy's office, meanwhile, is questioning Lembo's deficit figures. Malloy officials say they don't believe the deficit is as high as Lembo is estimating, but offered no reason for why they don't agree with the comptrollers calculations, the Mirror reports.

Lembo said the state's budget woes are, in part, the result of higher than expect spending on Medicaid. Malloy has said he will file a deficit mitigation plan with the legislature before year's end. He has blamed the state's fiscal problems on the enduring and lingering impacts in Connecticut of the nation's economic downturn.

In an effort to lower the deficit, Malloy last week announced $170 million in budget cuts, the maximum allowed by a governor without needing legislative approval. 

Richard Burke December 04, 2012 at 08:30 PM
At the local level, we don't spend what isn't approved. Get this under control ... 1) identify and eliminate the waste, fraud, & abuse. 2) eliminate jobs which truly aren't essential. 3) freeze salaries until under this is fully under control. 4) maybe reduce some of the inflated salaries. As a for instance, when one reviews the salaries paid within CTs university system, the # of 6-figure salaries paid for admin positions is stagering. I have no doubt that the same holds true throughout the remainder of CT's budget. 5) I understand judges retire with 100% pensions ... and I wonder what else? The pockets paying for this do not get close to that. For this and any other similar situations ... stop it ... going backwards as well as going forward. 6) Across the entire public sector, GREAT retirement and other social benefits, stemming back to when salaries were low, are long out-dated and should be reduced and made equal to the private sector. Public sector salaries are now on par with the private sector, if not better. Trim back the benefits and lengthen to age to retirement ... current and future. 7) and so on. The list of wrongs is longer and should be easy to address. It simply takes courage and a desire to make this right. However, when we have professional politicians running the show ... change will be slow and difficult, and more likely ... doubtful.
Will Wilkin December 05, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Richard Burke offers many sensible ideas for increasing the efficiency & cost-effectiveness of state government, and points out over-compensated govt employees at the top of the pay scale. Of course in the private sector there is even more bloat at the top, especially in financial services, with a class of executives being paid millions or tens of millions per year, even when their enterprises lose money or lay off hundreds or thousands of people or take huge public bailouts. Here the public pays not just in public debt (taxes) but in higher prices, ie, inflation. But that is certainly no reason to excuse bloat in public sector, so long as that is what we really attack, rather than legitimate and constructive public spending. And in the end, I think the fiscal crises in American states & municipalities (as at the fed level) will not be fixed through the cutting approach, especially considering our country's D- grade infrastructure that needs $Trillions public investment to make America competitive again. We will never solve the fiscal crises until we rebuild America's private sector manufacturing as the central engine of wealth creation in our economy. All the ancillary service & support industries around manufacturing represent "multiplier effect" jobs created by manufacturing. As the USA loses manufacturing jobs & capacity, those service sectors find their wages also grow stagnant or decrease, because the manufacturing-created wealth has left our economy.
Will Wilkin December 05, 2012 at 03:12 PM
My napkin calculation: considering the US trade deficit in 2011 was $784,775,000,000 (about $785 Billion), that means every 11 hours of our trade deficit would cover another year of Connecticut's $950,000,000 ($950 million) avg annual state budget deficits. I compare these because the states will never fix their fiscal crises until the traitors in Congress and the Executive quit the free trade policies that have exported 6 million manufacturing jobs since 2000. Add the millions more multiplier effect jobs those mfg jobs would have created --we'd have 10 million more jobs, & all the added GDP, tax base, wages & industrial capabilities behind those 10 million jobs. That kind of prosperity would make our country's fiscal troubles virtually disappear. Instead our infrastructure crumbles, our industrial skills knowledge and capacities atrophy and decay, meaning we are losing the competitiveness to recover from the devastation. And considering there is a jobs deficit of 10 million due to those ruinous free trade policies, it is only natural that unemployment benefits and Husky insurance and the rest of the social safety net costs go up as a result. The only way to break the vicious cycle is to replace free trade with real Industrial Policy coordinating all our policies to effectively ONshore those industries that will make prosperity in the coming decades. Imagine how a FULL EMPLOYMENT economy & a MADE IN USA TRADE POLICY would transform our problems into prosperity!

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