Officials blame outside vendor for budget mistake

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– State budget officials are saying “whoops” when it comes to how they balanced Connecticut’s checkbook. It turns out their math was off! And it’ll cost the state big.

Turns out Connecticut is $55 million over the state spending cap that’s worse than originally thought!

The state budget director admitted to a miscalculation Tuesday. He blames it on bad data on an outside vendor that put in the wrong percentage when it was calculating personal income growth. Why is that important? Because state spending is supposed to be limited by how much money you and I make.

Related: $55 million math mistake means state budget deficit bigger than first thought

That’s called the spending cap. They calculate an average five-year growth in personal income to figure out the cap. The idea is, if the people living in the state are making less money, like we did in the recession a few years ago, the state then has to spend less money. This miscalculation means the cap has to be adjusted down $54 and a half million, which means they’ve got to cut that much out of somewhere in the budget.

But wait, there’s more, The state made a promise to its investors that starting later this year it would adopt what are called the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. That gets a little technical. It has to do with un-doing some bookkeeping tricks used for years to make the budget seem better than it really it.

The bottom line is, they gotta find $48 million more to put in a special fund. So if you add that up, it means the state now has to cut more than $100 million out of a budget announced just a week ago.

Governor Malloy can go over the spending cap if he declares an emergency, but in his budget address last week he said he would not support any efforts to do that. Get ready for more budget cuts.

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