State employee overtime spending jumped 12% to $228.2 million in 2018, putting further pressure on Connecticut's fiscal struggles.
That's the third highest level in history, with government agencies spending $23.8 million more on overtime in fiscal 2018 than the previous year, when spending dropped to a six-year low.
Overtime spending declined in both 2016 and 2017 after hitting an all-time high of $256.1 million in 2015.
The non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis' year-end report shows state agencies spent $50 million on overtime in the final quarter of the fiscal year.
CBIA's Louise DiCocco called the increase "alarming," noting the state finished fiscal 2018 with an estimated budget deficit of $505 million, with shortfalls of $165 million, $2.1 billion, and $2.6 billion projected over the next three years.
"State government's failure to control overtime spending has significant short-term and long-term fiscal consequences for Connecticut," DiCocco said.
"Just navigating the next few years is challenging enough, but because overtime is a factor for calculating state employee pensions, the failure to control spending also drives up the state's long-term liabilities."
2018 State Overtime Spending: Top Five Agencies
|Department||FY 2018 Overtime||FY 2017 Overtime||$ Difference||% Difference|
|Correction||$71.97 million||$62 million||$9.9 million||16%|
|Mental Health & Addiction Services||$53.98 million||$47.98 million||$5.99 million||12.5%|
|Developmental Services||$44.22 million||$43.64 million||$579,664||1.3%|
|Children & Families||$22.9 million||$21.69 million||$1.2 million||5.6%|
|Emergency Services & Public Protection||$19.73 million||$14.97 million||$4.75 million||31.8%|
Five state agencies accounted for over 93% of all overtime spending in fiscal 2018. All five saw cost increases ranging from 1% to 32%.
Overtime spending jumped $9.9 million to $62 million at the Department of Correction, while the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection saw the largest percentage increase.
Outside the top five, the remaining 33 agencies spent $15.37 million on overtime last fiscal year, a 10% increase over 2017.
As overtime is a factor for calculating state employee pensions, the failure to control spending also drives up the state's long-term liabilities.
Spending rose for the year despite 150 fewer state employees claiming overtime.
Overall, 17,354 state employees claimed overtime at an average $13,149 per employee. In 2017, the average payout was $11,675.
DMHAS employees had the highest average payout in 2018, with 2,393 workers averaging $22,557 in overtime.