HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget director is acknowledging the current fiscal year’s budget deficit has grown by about $80 million, totaling nearly $142 million.

Benjamin Barnes said Friday that the change in the state’s financial position is driven by an increase in spending on Medicaid, coupled with higher than expected tax refunds and other adjustments.

Malloy, however, maintains that state finances are improving.

On Friday, he and State Comptroller Kevin Lembo announced how the state’s future unfunded state employee and retiree health care liabilities have been reduced by more than $11 billion. They cited an updated draft actuarial report.

The report shows that the unfunded actuarial accrued liability dropped from $31.2 billion to $20 billion.

Malloy credits the decrease to efforts made to reduce state employee health care costs.

     (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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