WYMAN ISSUES MIXED REPORT CARD ON STATE'S FINANCES IN ANNUAL COMPTROLLER'S REPORT
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The fiscal performance of Connecticut's state government received mixed grades in a report card issued today by State Comptroller Nancy Wyman in her annual analysis of the state's finances, The Comptroller's Report: Connecticut's Economic Health.
While the national and state economies continue to outperform all expectations, Wyman said, state government has not taken full advantage of the opportunity to safeguard Connecticut's financial future. She urged policymakers to capitalize on the strength of the economy, and the state's projected $225 million surplus, by addressing the state's growing debt and deficiencies in other significant budget areas.
"Connecticut has finally become a full partner in the longest period of sustained national economic growth in three decades," Wyman said. "Our citizens have worked hard to bring this state back from recession. But we need to continue to take steps to build a secure financial future in which our children and grandchildren can thrive, instead of running up the debt and sticking them with the bill."
Wyman gave the state fair to poor grades for its financial practices, growing debt, and overall financial position. She also noted that while Connecticut is one of the wealthiest states in the nation, it also carries the fifth-highest debt load ($16.3 billion). Nearly one of every ten dollars the state spends goes toward principal and interest on the debt, instead of being available for tax relief or programs to help state residents.
Higher grades were given to the national economy, and to the state's economy and 1997 fiscal performance.
Comptroller Wyman said economic expansion is the driving force behind the state's extraordinarily strong revenues from the income tax (nearly $3.5 billion this fiscal year), which is the major reason for this year's projected $225 million surplus. Growth in wages, salaries and employment are robust, as well as in new business and housing starts.
The Comptroller's Report also details several initiatives Wyman is undertaking to improve the state's overall fiscal health, including:
The Comptroller's Report: Connecticut's Economic
Health, is available on our Internet Home Page, at the address
For Immediate Release
January 29, 1998
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