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WYMAN SAYS STATE WILL END FISCAL YEAR WITH $61.5 MILLION UNAPPROPRIATED SURPLUS
Contact: Steve Jensen
860-702-3308/3301

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today projected that the state will end the fiscal year with an unappropriated surplus of $61.5 million.

Wyman's surplus estimate is about $8.6 million higher than her July projection, mainly due to more favorable estimates of revenues from the income and sales taxes. It is also $6.9 million higher than the most recent surplus projection by the Governor's budget office, the Office of Policy and Management.

Wyman's final figures on the 1999 surplus will be issued Aug. 31.

Wyman noted that her $61.5 million surplus estimate is the amount remaining after the General Assembly's appropriation of more than $590 million of surplus revenues in June.

That expenditure of the surplus funds will push total state spending this fiscal year to about $527.7 million above the constitutional spending cap. Last year, the cap was exceeded by $194.1 million.

Wyman also expressed concern that appropriating most of the surplus left only $31.1 million to be put toward the state's bonded debt of about $9.3 billion - the highest per-capita debt in the nation.

The $31.1 million bonded debt payment represents 4.9 percent of the surplus. Another $55 million, or 8.6 percent of the surplus, will be applied to reduce the amount of bonding need for school construction projects, which can be construed as a form of debt reduction.

Another $96.2 million of the surplus will be used to issue sales-tax rebates to taxpayers.

The General Assembly's appropriation from the surplus contained $438.8 million in spending initiatives, including:

* $90 million to cover an extra state payroll period
* $80 million for redevelopment projects in Hartford
* $78 million to cover certain Medicaid expenses over the next biennium
* $60 million to pay outstanding liabilities in the state employees health account
* $20.2 million for various legal settlements
* $20 million for local capital improvement projects
* $15 million in Year 2000 computer-conversion costs

The State Comptroller appreciates input on this and other issues from residents of the state. Please feel free to contact her office by phone - (860) 702-3300; mail - OSC, 55 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106; or, via E-mail - osc.opinions@po.state.ct.us

Learn more about the Connecticut Comptroller's Office by calling up our Internet Home Page, at the link below.

For Immediate Release
August 2, 1999

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