Report shows new state budget already has projected deficit

- FILE - Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford (WTNH / Mark Davis)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — A report shows Connecticut’s newly reached state budget agreement is already in the red.

Consensus revenue estimates released Monday by Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget office and the General Assembly’s nonpartisan fiscal office project the current fiscal year will end $178.4 million in deficit, while the new fiscal year beginning July 1 will be $147.1 million in the deficit.

State lawmakers last month passed a new, bipartisan two-year $41.3 billion budget, about four months after the fiscal year began.

The Democratic and Republican leaders of the state Senate say the numbers are disappointing but not unexpected.

In a joint release, Democratic Senate President Martin Looney and Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano say they’ll monitor the numbers closely and “remain committed to working together” to make any necessary changes.

In a joint statement, the two said:

These numbers are disappointing but not unexpected. It’s clear that now is the time to give cooperation and collaboration a chance to build on the bipartisan budget passed into law last month, which makes important long term systemic reforms. Many of these structural changes may not result in an instantaneous change, but rather will begin the process to improve financial management and eliminate this type of volatility and unpredictability in the future. We will continue to examine this report, monitor these numbers closely and remain committed to working together to make adjustments to the budget if needed in the coming months.”

Office of Police Management Secretary Ben Barnes also released a statement on consensus revenue, saying:

The Governor’s caution regarding our ability to get through FY 18 in balance under the bipartisan budget passed by the General Assembly was well-warranted. This consensus revenue projection will likely place us more than $178 million in deficit before we have even had an opportunity to effectuate the large lapses and spending cuts built into the budget. OPM will finalize our projection in our letter to the Comptroller next week, and the administration will continue to do its part to monitor revenues and expenditures closely.”

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