Comptroller Sean Scanlon Projects $1.35 Billion Surplus As Budget Approaches Fifth Consecutive Annual Surplus
General Fund surplus remains constant among changes in economic indicators
(HARTFORD, CT) – Comptroller Sean Scanlon today, in his monthly financial and economic update and outlook, projected a Fiscal Year 2023 General Fund surplus of $1.35 billion and Special Transportation Fund surplus of $234 million. The state is on track to deposit $3.2 billion at the end of this fiscal year into the pension funds.
The General Fund surplus projection has increased $10.5 million from January. The increase would have been $22.5 million, but this estimate accounts for the passage of H.B. 6671, which increased General Fund spending by $12.0 million, primarily to fund free school meals for Connecticut public school students through the end of the school year.
“The economic indicators show both pros and cons this month,” said Comptroller Sean Scanlon. “We continue to see positive job growth and record-low unemployment at the national level but inflation, while gradually easing, is still having an impact on people and families in Connecticut. Fortunately, thanks to our Rainy Day Fund’s historic balance and the 2017 fiscal guardrails recently extended by the legislature, our state is prepared if and when a downturn occurs as a result of the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates to combat inflation.”
The Comptroller’s monthly letter to Governor Ned Lamont notes that, nationally, 63% of private-sector job gains over the past six months have been seen in the healthcare, education, leisure and hospitality, and other service industries. This hints that the workforces of these industries, many of which struggled to hire employees throughout COVID-19, are growing.
Personal Consumption Expenditures increased 1.8%, with leading increases in the purchases of motor vehicles, food services, and pharmaceuticals. While stimulating to local and large economies, this increase in spending on pharmaceuticals highlights the need for reform and limits on prescription drug prices, which were notably outlined in Governor Lamont’s recent proposals to reduce healthcare costs.
“Access to affordable and quality health care is one of most important issues facing Connecticut families and businesses at a time when costs are rising and insurance covers less than it used to,” Comptroller Scanlon said. “Passage of this proposal will allow my office to enter into a multi-state contract that will offer discount cards to all Connecticut residents, which will enable them to save significant money at their local pharmacy counter in the future.”
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