Dear Citizens of Connecticut:
As Comptroller, I serve as the state's chief fiscal guardian. I am primarily responsible for protecting the state's assets and safeguarding its financial future. In performing these duties, I continually monitor the state's fiscal condition and report directly to you, the citizens of Connecticut. In that capacity, I am pleased to provide you with a copy of The Comptroller's Report: Connecticut's Economic Health.
After several years of disappointing economic growth, Connecticut is now a full participant in the continuing national economic expansion. The strong economy has propelled state revenues above budget expectations. Over the past three years -- despite overspending budgeted appropriations by half a billion dollars -- strong revenue growth has produced consecutive surpluses in the state's General Fund. While this is good news, it is not representative of the state's overall financial position. When all governmental funds are considered, the state moved from a surplus to a deficit position in Fiscal Year 1997.
This report broadens the scope of traditional state financial analysis. It discloses the state's true financial position both now and over time. The report focuses attention on Connecticut's growing debt and other serious fiscal challenges the state has not yet addressed. The financial information is summarized in a report card format, with a brief explanation following each grade. More detailed information, providing a full justification for each grade, appears in the body of the report.
This document takes an honest look at Connecticut's economic health and puts the state's overall financial position in proper perspective. It also discusses several initiatives that I have proposed to improve the performance of Connecticut state government, including an innovative tax rebate plan.
I hope this report will be helpful to the state's citizens and policymakers as we work together to improve Connecticut's future.
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