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Comptroller Wyman Projects Surplus but Warns Against Overspending

Contact: Bob King
860-702-3311 or 860-702-3300

Connecticut's general fund remains in good shape, with State Comptroller Nancy Wyman projecting a $25.3 million surplus for the fiscal year that will end next summer. The good performance can be attributed primarily to a strong national economy, she said. But Wyman also pointed out that a trend of overspending by state agencies continues to concern her.

Strong tax collections will propel revenues above expectations -- a projected $100.4 million over budget -- Wyman wrote in her monthly letter on state finances to the governor.

But Wyman projects state spending will exceed the budget by $75.1 million. And she said this total could grow by year's end to $100 million, making it the third consecutive year that spending has been $100 million or more over budget. "It's unusual to see such a large shortfall evident so early in a fiscal year," Comptroller Wyman said.

The largest projected deficiency is in the Department of Social Services (a projected $55 million over budget). Last year's general fund spending was $150.3 million greater than what had been budgeted.

"If we want to continue to pay off our state debt more quickly, and make other strides for long-term financial improvement, we must continue to watch this overspending," Wyman said. "This is something I have been emphasizing for two years and I will continue to point out to the citizens of Connecticut."

Connecticut has gained 33,000 new jobs over the past year, and earnings have risen at a 3.3 percent annual rate, Wyman noted in her letter. The slower growth in the national economy that is projected for the remainder of the year could moderate the present favorable performance, Wyman said. As the state Department of Economic and Community Development notes in the September issue of its Economic Digest, "the Connecticut economy cannot long maintain its forward momentum without a strong national economy."

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For Immediate Release
October 2, 1997

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