State overtime spending hit $181.2 million through the third quarter of fiscal 2019, $3 million more than the same period last year.

The legislature's nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis' latest overtime report shows the state on track to spend almost $242 million in overtime this year, a 6% increase.

State overtime spending

State agencies spent $61 million on overtime in the third quarter, a 15% jump over the previous quarter.

Overtime spending peaked at $256.1 million in 2015, decreasing dramatically over the next two years to $219 million in 2016 and $204.4 million in 2017.

However, costs have soared since, hitting $228.2 million last year and on pace this year to reach almost a quarter of a billion dollars.

Overtime spending has significant short-term and long-term fiscal implications for the state, which faces multi-billion dollar budget deficits over the next two fiscal years.

As overtime is allowed as a factor in calculating state employee pensions, the failure to control those costs also drives up Connecticut's long-term liabilities.

Overtime Spending: Top Five Agencies

DepartmentFY 2019 OvertimeFY 2018 Overtime$ Difference% Difference
Correction$59.39 million$56.56 million$2.83 million5%
Mental Health & Addiction Services$40.22 million$41.82 million($1.6 million)-3.8%
Developmental Services$30.47 million$34.88 million($4.4 million)-12.6%
Emergency Services & Public Protection$21.52 million$16.23 million$5.29 million32.5%
Children & Families$16.87 million$17.3 million($430,079)-2.5%

Costs Rise Despite Some Agency Cuts

Five state agencies account for more than 93% of all overtime spending, with three of those departments reducing costs this fiscal year between 2.5% and 12.6%.

The Department of Correction continues to spend more than other agencies, racking up $59.4 million through the third quarter of 2018-19, a 5% increase over last year.

Through March, 5,066 DOC employees claimed overtime—734 more than the same period last year.

That's despite a dramatic drop in Connecticut's prison population since 2008, falling from 19,898 inmates to 13,085 as of this month.

An additional 1,108 state employees were paid overtime compared with the same period in 2018, with 17,431 workers each paid an average $10,393.

The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services spent $40.2 million through March, a decrease of $1.6 million (3.8%) over last year, despite 112 more employees claiming overtime.

Overtime costs fell 12% to $30.5 million at the Department of Developmental Services.

Spending jumped 32% to $21.5 million at the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, although 47 fewer employees claimed overtime.

Average Overtime Exceeds $10K

DESPP employees also had the highest average payout of any agency, with 1,160 workers averaging $18,552 in overtime.

Overtime spending fell 2.5% at the Department of Children and Families, which spent $16.9 million through March.

Spending at all other departments increased from $11.4 million in the first three quarters of 2018 to $12.7 million so far this fiscal year.

One of the biggest percentage increases was in the Judicial Department, which saw costs balloon from $1.2 million to $2.1 million, a 71% increase.

Fourteen of those agencies saw overtime costs fall, with the Department of Veterans Affairs posting the largest decline (-$188,507).

Overall, an additional 1,108 state employees were paid overtime compared with the same period in 2018, with 17,431 workers each paid an average $10,393.

Filed Under: State Spending
  • Mike G

    Another example of poor management in our government. How many other states include overtime in pension calculations?