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Comptroller Lembo Projects $208 Million Deficit For Connecticut

Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo (file photo)
Bob Child
As Connecticut health advocate, Kevin Lembo testifies before the state legislature's Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee in Hartford, Conn in 2009. Lembo now serves as state comptroller.

The Connecticut budget that was passed in October is headed for a $208 million dollar deficit by the end of the 2018 fiscal year. That’s according to a projection released on Friday by State Comptroller Kevin Lembo.

Comptroller Lembo says the $207.8 million deficit exceeds one percent of the budget for the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2018. Lembo says since the deficit has grown to more than one percent of the budget, it automatically triggers a state mandate that requires Governor Dannel Malloy and the state lawmakers to take action. Lembo says this might have to be done before lawmakers return for their regular legislative session in February.

“They may have to come back sooner and pass an amendment to the budget that makes some changes and brings the budget into balance. I think to wait until February might be a little bit too long, it’s about three months away.”

Lembo says his office agrees with Malloy’s budget office and the General Assembly’s Office of Fiscal Analysis that November’s consensus figures show lower than expected state revenue collections from sales and income taxes.

In response, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides released a statement saying the deficit was expected. Senate Republican President Len Fasano disagrees with the size of the deficit. He says he believes it’s less. Senate Democratic President Martin Looney said legislative leaders will meet with Malloy on Wednesday to discuss next steps.

Lawmakers had already been considering returning to Hartford for a special session before the end of the year.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.
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