New budget figures show Connecticut deficit has grown

- FILE - State Capitol building in Hartford. (WTNH / Noelle Gardner)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — Connecticut’s budget problems have worsened once again.

New state revenue estimates, revealed Friday evening by Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy‘s budget director, show the current fiscal year is projected to end June 30 about $256 million in deficit. That’s up from a $141.4 million estimate released just last week.

Meanwhile, the projected budget deficit for next fiscal year has grown to $960 million, up from $922 million. In January, the deficit for 2016-17 was projected to be $570 million, but income tax and other revenue collections have steadily worsened. Senate House Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) says the 2017 deficit could be as large as $1 billion.

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Ben Barnes, Malloy’s budget director, said the new figures mean the fixing the deficit “got a little harder.”

There are currently three budget plans on the table at the State Capitol; one by Republican leadership, one by Democratic leadership, and one by the Governor’s office, as no one can agree. A source close to the negotiations tells News 8 that a “large gap” between all the plans still exists as negotiations are just beginning with only five full days remaining in the General Assembly session.

The new revenue projections were agreed upon by the governor’s and legislature’s budget offices.

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