State Comptroller Kevin Lembo increased the state budget deficit estimate to $415 million on Monday in his monthly letter to Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, marking an even larger deficit estimate than previously reported.
In his last monthly report issued on Nov. 1, the comptroller estimated that the state was short $60 million. But, by mid-November, Malloy’s Budget Director Ben Barnes increased that estimate to $365 million, setting off a round of mandatory cost-cutting procedures in the governor’s office and legislature.
Malloy announced nearly $170 million in cuts on Nov. 29 across a wide gamut of state agencies to close part of the gap. The rest of the projected deficit at the time – nearly $200 million – will be reached in a legislative agreement during a special session before Christmas Day. For now, the legislature will have to find over $100 million in additional cuts.
In addition, Lembo warned that the projected deficit could grow even larger between now and the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
“Projected state spending above budgeted levels, and the slow pace of national economic recovery are impeding the state’s ability to bring the budget into balance,” Lembo wrote in his monthly report.