That doesn’t mean there’s nothing important in the budget. Connecticut is in the midst of a two-year plan to put nearly $6 billion in federal coronavirus aid to work to bolster its schools, health care system, economy, and state and local governments.
While the plan is generating big surpluses in state finances, the jury is still out on the overall Connecticut comeback. And since the state will invariably face a fiscal shock in 2024 — when $6 billion in federal aid has expired — Lamont is cautious about tackling anything more ambitious right now.
The state has the legal maximum in its rainy day fund, $3.1 billion or 15% of annual operating expenses, and already made a supplemental $1.6 billion payment last fall to reduce pension debt.
But with a nearly $2.5 billion surplus projected for the current fiscal year, the state can keep its reserves full, reduce more pension debt and help do more for those hardest hit by the pandemic, Walker said.
Author(s): Keith Phaneuf
Publication Date: 8 Feb 2022
Publication Site: CT Mirror