Hartford - State Comptroller Kevin Lembo is now projecting a bigger deficit in the state budget.
In his monthly report this morning to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Lembo said the state’s $20.1 annual billion budget is running a deficit of $95.7 million under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. That is a $22.1 million erosion from last month.
But if the administration chooses to postpone its conversion to the more transparent accounting method, the budget deficit would be a more manageable $20.7 million for the current fiscal year ending June 30.
Lembo’s figures are somewhat rosier than those of the legislature's nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis. Those budget analysts are projecting a $161 million budget deficit under the new accounting rules.
The Malloy administration did not immediately comment on Lembo’s report. Earlier in the week, Malloy told reporters that the budget will end the year in the black, and he sees no reason for a second round of emergency budget cuts.
Malloy made the equivalent of $36 million in emergency cuts in January to try to stanch the spreading red ink.
Lembo said today that part of the problem is the state’s new Earned Income Tax Credit has been paying out refunds at a level 20-percent higher than expected. If the trend continues, the refunds would exceed what was budgeted by $22 million.