Budget deficit grows to $138.6 million, says Office of Fiscal Analysis

Connecticut's fiscal year 2013 budget deficit has doubled, according to the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis. On Friday, the office reported that the state was short $138.6 million.

The new figure is more than twice the $64.4 million amount reported by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office on Tuesday.

Since the deficit mitigation bill in December, which eliminated a budget deficit of nearly $365 million, spending has increased and revenues have decreased, according to the OFA report.

On the spending side, a major change was in Medicaid expenditures. Estimated Medicaid spending is expected to increase by $88 million because of an increasing Medicaid low-income adult population. Budgeted savings won't be enough to offset that increase, the report said.

On the revenue side, a major loss was in sales and use tax revenue projections, which decreased by $116.1 million, or 2.9 percent.

The $138.6 million figure, while substantial, does not force the governor into another deficit-mitigation plan.

By law, the governor must provide a deficit-mitigation plan to the legislature when the deficit is greater than 1 percent of the general fund. The general fund makes up the largest part of the state's budget. For fiscal year 2013, the budget is $20.5 billion and the general fund is $19.1 billion.

The budget deficit would have to reach $191.4 million before the governor would have to submit a deficit-mitigation plan.

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