Debt and Fringe Benefits
What the Data Show: Fast-Rising Non-Functional Expenses
"Non-Functional" is the budget category that encompasses debt service, state employee pension contributions, current and retired employee healthcare, and other categories of spending that do not directly contribute to a function such as education or transportation. From FY 1990 to 2015, non-functional spending increased substantially as a share of the General Fund. Debt service increased steeply at the start of this time period, before leveling off. Since about the turn of the century, state employee fringe benefits and teacher pension contributions have increased rapidly, reflecting a concerted effort by the state to catch up after years of underfunding its pension obligations, as well as the rising cost of health care. Overall, non-functional spending has increased from about one-sixth to one-quarter of the state budget since the early 1990s.
What the Data Mean
Check out the following Connecticut Voices publications for context on:
- The drivers of fast-rising non-functional expenses
- The questionable budget practices prompted by this rise
And be sure to use the drop-down menus below the graph to explore the components within the non-functional category.