Connecticut state government agencies spent $234.4 million on overtime in fiscal 2019, the third highest on record.
Agency overtime spending increased $6.1 million—or 2.7%—over the previous year.
The legislature's nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis' final report for 2019 shows agencies spent $53.1 million on overtime in the fourth quarter.
Overtime costs have jumped since hitting an all-time low in 2017.
Spending peaked at $256.1 million in 2015, decreasing dramatically over the next two years to $219 million in 2016 and $204.4 million in 2017.
Overtime costs have significant short-term and long-term fiscal implications for the state.
As overtime is allowed as a factor in calculating state employee pensions, the failure to control those costs also drives up Connecticut's long-term liabilities.
Overtime Spending: Top Five Agencies
|Department||FY 2019 Overtime||FY 2018 Overtime||$ Difference||% Difference|
|Correction||$76.56 million||$71.97 million||$4.59 million||6.4%|
|Mental Health & Addiction Services||$52.86 million||$53.98 million||($1.11 million)||-2.1%|
|Developmental Services||$39.68 million||$44.22 million||($4.54 million)||-10.3%|
|Emergency Services & Public Protection||$26.27 million||$19.73 million||$6.53 million||33.1%|
|Children & Families||$22.24 million||$22.9 million||($659,493)||-2.9%|
DOC Overtime Up 6.4%
Five agencies accounted for over 93% of all state overtime spending in 2019, led by the Department of Correction, which paid out $76.56 million.
Three of those agencies cut overtime in fiscal 2019, while costs increased 6.4% at DOC and 33.1% at the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
DOC paid 5,166 employees an average $14,820 in overtime in 2019. The previous year, 4,444 correction workers were paid an average $16,195.
The agency's overtime costs peaked at $89.4 million in 2015, falling to $67.9 million the following year.
Connecticut's prison population has fallen from 19,898 inmates in 2008 to less than 13,000 today.
Average $12,780 Payout
The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services cut overtime 2.1%, paying 2,605 employees a total of $52.8 million in 2019.
The Department of Development Services reduced overtime spending by 10.3%, paying $39.6 million to 2,446 workers.
Overtime increased $6.5 million at DESPP to $26.2 million, with 1,212 workers paid an average $21,675—the highest average of any agency.
The Department of Children and Families cut overtime costs 2.9%, paying 2,605 employees a total of $22.2 million.
Spending at all other agencies increased $1.3 million (8.4%) to $16.7 million in fiscal 2019.
Overall, an additional 979 state employees were paid overtime, with 18,333 workers each paid an average $12,780.