HARTFORD, Conn. – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget director Ben Barnes told a group of advocates for children Tuesday that the two-year budget he’s preparing is challenging mostly because there’s so little he can change or control.
He said the spending everyone cares about in the budget, such as spending on children and education, are falling behind because mandated spending in other areas of the budget, such as pensions and debt service, are eclipsing them.
About 25 percent of the $17.5 billion 2015 general fund budget goes toward the state’s contractual or legally obligated fixed costs. That includes debt service, which is 9 percent of the budget at $1.6 billion, Barnes said. Another fixed cost is the annually required contribution to the state employee pension fund, which is 5.6 percent of the budget at $970 million. There also is the teacher’s pension, which is $1.18 billion.
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