Connecticut state agencies spent $68.8 million on overtime in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, 2.7% more than the same period last year.
The legislature's nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis' latest overtime report shows overtime costs on pace to hit a record $275.1 million in fiscal 2020, an 18% jump over 2019.
Overtime spending peaked at $256.1 million in 2015, falling over the next two years to $219 million in 2016 and a record low of $204.4 million in 2017.
Costs have soared since, hitting $228.2 million in 2018 and $234.4 million last fiscal year.
Overtime spending has 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 drives up Connecticut's long-term liabilities.
Pension fund liabilities topped a staggering $34 billion in 2018 against assets of $13 billion for a funding ratio of just 38%—one of the worst of any state.
Overtime Spending: Top Five Agencies
|Department||Q1 FY 2020 Overtime||Q1 FY 2019 Overtime||$ Difference||% Difference|
|Correction||$20.64 million||$21.48 million||($836,186)||-3.9%|
|Mental Health & Addiction Services||$15.82 million||$14.02 million||$1.8 million||12.8%|
|Emergency Services & Public Protection||$11.24 million||$10.31 million||$934,578||9.1%|
|Developmental Services||$10.98 million||$10.9 million||$77,329||0.7%|
|Children & Families||$5.7 million||$5.86 million||($162,792)||-2.8%|
DOC, DCF Cut Overtime
Five agencies accounted for over 93% of all overtime costs in the first quarter, with the Department of Correction and the Department of Children and Families both seeing declines over the first three months of 2019.
DOC led all agencies, spending $20.6 million on overtime for the quarter. That's 3.9% less than the $21.4 million the department spent in the same period last year.
The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services spent $15.8 million, a 12.8% increase over 2019.
Emergency Services and Public Protection spent $11.2 million, a 9.1% increase, while Developmental Services spent $10.98 million (up 0.7%).
DCF spent $5.7 million in the first quarter, a drop of 2.8% over the same period last year.
The $68.8 million spent in the first three months of the fiscal year was paid out to 14,572 state employees—590 more than the first quarter of 2019—at an average of $4,719 each.
The 1,086 DESSP employees who took overtime received an average $10,353 each for the quarter, the highest of any agency.
DMHAS paid an average $7,774 in overtime to 2,035 employees, 1,806 DDS workers got average payouts of $6,081, and 4,254 DOC workers each took an average $4,853.
A total of 2,153 DCF workers were paid an average $2,649 for the quarter.
Overtime costs increased at 22 agencies and declined at 15.