Budget deficit grows by more than $100M; now at $256M this year, $960M for fiscal year 2017

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HARTFORD — Connecticut’s budget problems have worsened once again.

New state revenue estimates, revealed Friday evening by Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy’s budget director, show the current fiscal year is projected to end June 30 about $256 million in deficit. That’s up from a $141.4 million estimate released just last week.

Meanwhile, the projected budget deficit for next fiscal year, which legislators and Malloy are struggling to fix before Wednesday’s legislative adjournment deadline, has grown to $960 million, up from $922 million. In January, the deficit for 2016-17 was projected to be $570 million, but income tax and other revenue collections have steadily worsened.

Ben Barnes, Malloy’s budget director, said the new figures mean the fixing the deficit “got a little harder.”

The new revenue projections were agreed upon by the governor’s and legislature’s budget offices.

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano said, “Connecticut residents need to start a fiscal revolution. It must start with the families who have been crushed by growing taxes and those who have been hurt by debilitating cuts to social services and mental health care. It must unite our families with our job creators who are being pushed out of this state every day by the instability of our economy.”