Expenditures are the money the State spends on government services, programs, and other functions. In fiscal year 2017, the State of Connecticut's total General Fund expenditures were approximately $17.8 billion. Almost half ($8.7 billion) of those expenditures were categorized as "fixed costs."

According to Connecticut’s Office of Policy and Management the General Assembly’s Office of Fiscal Analysis, fixed costs include Medicaid; state and teacher pension contributions; health, disability, unemployment, and workers compensation insurance for state workers and retirees; and debt service payments on prior years’ bond allocations.

Since fiscal year 2000, the percentage of Connecticut's total General Fund expenditures attributable to fixed costs has increased 14 percentage points — from 35 percent in fiscal year 2000 to 49 percent in fiscal year 2017. Additionally, during the same time period, fixed costs increased in terms of actual dollars, from $5.1 billion in fiscal year 2000 to $8.7 billion in fiscal year 2017.

The $3.6 billion increase represents a 72 percent growth in Connecticut's fixed costs. In comparison, Connecticut's total General Fund expenditures increased 23.7 percent from fiscal year 2000 to fiscal year 2017 — roughly a third of the increase of fixed costs.

Outside of fixed costs, Connecticut's largest General Fund expenditure category is education, museums, and libraries, which accounts for approximately $3.8 billion (22 percent) of annual General Fund expenditures. This includes the Education Cost Sharing grant, which is the largest single, non-fixed line item in the General Fund at approximately $2 billion in fiscal year 2017.

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