State overtime spending hit $120 million through the first half of the fiscal year, almost $5 million or 4% higher than the same period in 2018.
The Office of Fiscal Analysis' latest report shows state agencies are now on pace to spend $240 million in overtime this fiscal year—a 5% jump over last year and the third highest on record.
Annual state government overtime spending reached a four-year low in 2017 at $204.4 million, but has climbed steadily since.
Overtime spending has significant short-term and long-term fiscal implications for the state, which faces a projected $4 billion dollar budget deficit in the next two fiscal years.
CBIA's Louise DiCocco said because overtime is allowed as a factor in calculating state employee pensions, the failure to control those costs also drives up the state's long-term liabilities.
"This report reinforces the need for Gov. Lamont and state lawmakers to reduce the size of government, make it more efficient, and consider privatizing some state services," DiCocco said.
FY 2019 Overtime Spending: Top Five Agencies
Department FY 2019 Overtime FY 2018 Overtime $ Difference % Difference Correction $38.19 million $36.03 million $2.16 million 6% Mental Health & Addiction Services $25.71 million $26.26 million ($528,078) -2% Developmental Services $20.14 million $22.51 million ($2.37 million) -10.5% Emergency Services & Public Protection $16.52 million $12.03 million $4.5 million 37.4% Children & Families $11.11 million $11.3 million ($187,883) -1.7%
The Department of Correction continues to lead all agencies in overtime spending, with $38.2 million spent to date in fiscal 2019—a 6% increase over the same period last year.
DOC paid overtime to 4,748 employees in the first half of the year—620 more than the same period last year—at an average $8,044 per employee.
Connecticut's prisons housed 13,500 inmates in 2018, down from a high of 19,900 in 2008 and the lowest inmate population since 1994.
An additional 1,003 state employees were paid overtime, with 16,308 workers each paid an average $7,355.
Overtime spending fell at three of those departments compared with last year, declining 10.5% at Developmental Services, 2% at Mental Health and Addiction Services, and 1.7% at Children and Families.
Fiscal 2019 overtime costs increased by over $4.5 million (37.4%) to $16.5 million at the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
Average Overtime Exceeds $7,000
Outside the top five, another 28 agencies spent $8.2 million in the first half of 2019, a 16% increase over the first half of last fiscal year.
Thirteen of those agencies saw overtime costs fall, with the Department of Veterans Affairs posting the largest decline (-$160,372).
Overall, an additional 1,003 state employees were paid overtime compared with the same period in 2018, with 16,308 workers each paid an average $7,355.
DESPP employees had the highest average payout, with 1,128 workers averaging $14,658 in overtime.