STATE OF CONNECTICUT
THE STATE COMPTROLLER
|WYMAN SAYS BUDGET DEFICIT IMPROVES TO $71.4 MILLION|
|Contact: Steve Jensen|
State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today said the state's projected budget deficit has improved slightly to $71.4 million.
The modest decline of about $13 million in the deficit is mainly attributable to lower spending recently by the state Department of Social Services, Wyman said. The department is still running about $15 million in the red for the fiscal year that ends June 30.
The DSS deficiency, mainly due to rising health care expenses, is the second highest among state agencies. The Department of Children and Families, which hired dozens of new social workers in recent months, has a deficiency of about $20 million.
On the revenue side, Wyman said collections of the state income tax have risen slightly, due to improved financial market activity and an increase in reported year-end bonuses. Connecticut's employment picture, however, remains a concern. The state lost another 700 jobs in January, Wyman said, bringing the total job losses for the fiscal year to about 2,700.
"The state is still experiencing far too many lost jobs for me to be optimistic about future revenue growth from the payroll tax," Wyman said.
Also, the tax on corporate profits is expected to fall about $83 million short of original expectations.
Wyman's $71.4 million deficit projection is about $43 million higher than the estimate made by the Governor's budget office late last month. Both projections are based on an overall state budget of about $13.5 billion for fiscal 2004.
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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