OPM Secretary Ben Barnes projecting a state budget deficit of more than $178 million

Benjamin Barnes. Credit: CT.gov

HARTFORD —  Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes has projected a state budget deficit of more than $178 million.

The announcement comes a little over two weeks after CT passed bi-partisan compromise budget.

“The Governor’s caution regarding our ability to get through FY 18 in balance under the bipartisan budget passed by the General Assembly was well-warranted. This consensus revenue projection will likely place us more than $178 million in deficit before we have even had an opportunity to effectuate the large lapses and spending cuts built into the budget. OPM will finalize our projection in our letter to the Comptroller next week, and the administration will continue to do its part to monitor revenues and expenditures closely,” said Barnes in a statement.

On October 31, Gov. Malloy signed a bipartisan state budget, but used his limited line-item veto power to scrap portions of the legislation related to a problematic tax on Connecticut’s hospitals.

Gov. Malloy has said he believes the language concerning the hospital tax puts about $1 billion in federal funding at risk. The revenue is tied to the tax as part of a complicated reimbursement formula.

On Thursday, Senate GOP President Len Fasano said the governor’s office and the hospital association reached an agreement that would be discussed Tuesday.

Read the Governor’s full signing statement here, and his letter to legislative leaders here.

About OPM Barnes:

Barnes was appointed by Governor Dannel Malloy to serve as the Secretary of the State of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM) effective January 5, 2011.  OPM is the Governor’s staff agency in Connecticut and is responsible for all aspects of policy, planning, budgeting and management of state government.