Gov. M. Jodi Rell last week announced that the state’s budget surplus in January was about $100 million more than it was the month before. The surplus stands at $263.2 million, up from $163.1 million in December, primarily due to income tax receipts coming in stronger than estimated, Rell spokesman Chris Cooper said.
Still, projected additional budget requirements in the general fund also have risen. The Department of Correction has an estimated deficiency of $17 million due to the increased prison population, and the state estimates that the University of Connecticut Health Center requires an additional $10.9 million to address its budgetary shortfall. Skyrocketing oil prices could prompt the state to spend $24 million extra for its program that provides heating assistance to low-income families.