HARTFORD (AP) - State lawmakers plan to restore funding next week to a program that helps tens of thousands of senior citizens cover Medicare-related expenses, but are still gearing up to address the state’s latest budget deficit.
Democratic State Comptroller Kevin Lembo recently projected the state will end the current fiscal year on June 30 with a $207.8 million deficit, which is more than 1 percent of the state’s main spending account. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget office estimates the deficit is now $222.5 million.
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, a Democrat from Berlin, said legislative leaders plan to work over the coming weeks on a deficit-cutting package. They expect to get a glimpse of the up-to-date deficit figure on Jan. 15, when budget offices for the governor and the General Assembly release an agreed-upon state revenue estimate.
“It’s a large problem,” Aresimowicz said. “We will take a look at it but it’s nothing we can handle in the immediate. We really felt as though the Medicare savings program, which affects about 140,000 seniors in our state immediately ... We promised them we’d take action and that’s our intention on the 4th.”