STATE OF CONNECTICUT
THE STATE COMPTROLLER
WYMAN UNVEILS WEB SITE GIVING PUBLIC ACCESS
TO DETAILS OF STATE'S RISING BONDED DEBT
Comptroller's Annual Report Says State's Economy Healthy But Slowing
|Contact: Steve Jensen|
In her annual economic report released today, State Comptroller Nancy Wyman unveiled a new Internet web site that gives citizens and policymakers unprecedented access to the details behind one of Connecticut's most pressing fiscal problems - the state's skyrocketing bonded debt.
Bonded debt is money the state borrows to pay for major projects, such as highway construction, and for various municipal projects like the building of schools and parks. Connecticut's bonded debt of $9.4 billion is the highest per-capita in the nation; more than $2,800 for every man, woman and child.
Ten cents of every dollar the state spends is consumed by debt payments. Last year, the state added another $56 million in bonded debt, and issued over $1 billion of new bonding projects.
"This enormous amount of debt convinced me that the public needs to know where this borrowed money is going, and how they can have a voice in the process," said Wyman, the state's chief fiscal guardian and a member of the state Bond Commission. "The more scrutiny that can be put on where the money is going, the more efficiently those dollars will be spent. This site will open the bonding process to the public, the media, advocacy groups and anyone else who cares to know what's happening to their tax dollars."
The site http://www.osc.ct.gov/finance features a searchable database that contains every bond allocation made in the last five years. A visitor to the site can download the entire database or search a specific area of interest.
For example, a taxpayer can find out how much the state bonded in a given time frame, or bonded for the environment, education or road construction. The search can be focused on an individual town or city, or on allocations made statewide.
Before the creation of this site, anyone who wanted that kind of information would have had to sift through months of Bond Commission agendas and minutes of meetings.
The new web site also contains a simple explanation of what bonding is and how the Bond Commission works.
In addition to the web site, Wyman's annual report shows how the robust national economy has benefited Connecticut, presents projections that point to continued but slower economic growth in future years and offers recommendations to ensure that fiscal problems of the past are not repeated.
The report also details several other of Wyman's initiatives to make government more efficient and save taxpayer dollars, including:
- Overhauling the state's core financial computer systems to better monitor and control state spending
- Implementing Performance-based Budgeting
- Promoting truth-in-budgeting and improving financial reporting
- Expanding home-care options for the elderly
The annual report may also be viewed at the Comptroller's main Web site http://www.osc.ct.gov under the Reports section.
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 - email@example.com
Learn more about the Connecticut Comptroller's Office by calling up our Internet Home Page, at the link below.
|For Immediate Release|
|Date: February 3, 2000|
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