State Overtime Spending Eases in Third Quarter

05.07.2024
Issues & Policies

State overtime costs eased in the third quarter of this fiscal year, with agencies spending $10.5 million less (-13%) than the previous quarter.

Agencies spent $221.8 million on overtime through the first three quarters of the fiscal year, $8.1 million less (-5%) than for the same period in 2023.

However, state government agencies are on track to spend $295.7 million in 2024, the third-highest after last year’s record $305.4 million.

Connecticut spends a higher share of its payroll on overtime than neighboring states—over 11% of the total in 2022, compared with 5% in Massachusetts, 4.7% in New York, and New Jersey’s 4.2%

Costs hit a 10-year low in 2017, following passage of legislation requiring quarterly disclosures of agency spending.

Since then spending has increased every year, spiking in 2023 as costs jumped 15% over the previous high set in 2022.

Agency Trends

Compared with the same period last year, spending through the third quarter of fiscal 2024 declined at three of the five agencies responsible for over 93% of overtime costs.

The Department of Correction accounted for 36% of all overtime, spending $78.99 million, down $2.39 million (-2.9%) from the same period last year.

DOC overtime costs jumped 12.9% in fiscal 2023 to $106.5 million, despite a declining prison population and the closure of three facilities.

State Overtime Spending, 2013-2024
State government agencies are on track to spend $295.7 million in overtime this fiscal year, third-highest after last year’s record $305.4 million.

The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services spent $46 million through March 31, down 2.1% from the same period last fiscal year.

Overtime costs at the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection increased $382,446 to $32.47 million (1.2%) and the Department of Developmental Services posted a 1.6% decline.

Spending increased 25.2% through the third quarter to $18.4 million at the Department of Children and Families.

Overtime Spending: Top Five Agencies

DepartmentFY 2024 Overtime*FY 2023 Overtime**$ Difference% Difference
Correction$78.99 million$81.38 million($2.39 million)-2.9%
Mental Health & Addiction Services$46 million$47 million($1 million)-2.1%
Emergency Services & Public Protection$32.47 million$32.18 million$382,4461.2%
Developmental Services$31.24 million$31.77 million($524,032)-1.6%
Children & Families$18.4 million$14.7 million$3.7 million25.2%

*July 1, 2023-March 31, 2024. **July 1, 2022-March 31, 2023. Source: Office of Fiscal Analysis.

Other Agencies

Overtime spending at all other state agencies declined $6.73 million million to $14.7 million (-31%) through the first three quarters of the year.

The UConn Health Center accounted for half of that decline, with its costs falling $3.36 million to just $19 (-100%).

Spending fell by $3 million to $5.77 million (-35%) at the Department of Social Services and declined $236,167 to $607,425 (-28%) at the Board of Regents.

Through March, 16,152 state employees were paid overtime with an average payment of $13,733, up 4.1%.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection cut overtime by $215,624 (-14%) while costs declined by $126,976 (-85%) at the Department of Labor.

The Department of Veterans Affairs spent $1.55 million, up 16% over last year, with costs rising 213% in the Attorney General’s Office and 84% at the Department of Consumer Protection.

Through March, 16,152 state employees were paid overtime—1,167 fewer than the same period in 2023—with an average payment of $13,733, up 4.1%.

DESPP employees were paid an average $27,726—the highest of any agency—followed by DMHAS ($20,274), DDS ($18,029), DOC ($16,165), and OLM, where 71 workers earned an average $9,742.

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