National News

Budget gridlock to balloon state's deficit, if it continues

Posted September 1

— Connecticut is on track to end the year nearly $94 million in the hole.

Comptroller Kevin Lembo said that could grow beyond the projected $93.9 million if lawmakers don't adopt a state budget soon.

"The inability to pass a budget will slow Connecticut's economic growth and will ultimately lead to the state and its municipalities receiving downgrades in credit ratings that will cost taxpayers even more," Lembo said. "Connecticut's economy continues to post mixed results across an array of key economic indicators. These results do not indicate that the state can grow its way out of the current revenue stagnation."

The lack of a budget has prevented policy changes to increase revenue, according to Lembo.

"This problem is exacerbated each month as potential sources of additional revenue are foregone due to the absence of the necessary changes to the revenue structure," Lembo said.

Expenditures in July, which is the first month of the fiscal year, were more than 10 percent higher than last year because of fixed costs, debt and retirement costs.

Meanwhile, job gains and losses have not been consistent, according to Lembo.

Lawmakers said they did not expect to vote on a state budget until mid-September.

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