HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — What is the state’s fiscal health during the pandemic? News 8’s Political Correspondent Jodi Latina sat down with State Treasurer Shawn Wooden to find out.
Wooden is in charge of a lot, including the state’s cash flow used to pay bills. During this pandemic, he said Connecticut is on solid footing with a $2.8 billion rainy day fund.
“We are seeing the benefits of having that fiscal discipline in place,” he said.
Connecticut also has $4 billion in cash on hand. Wooden said previous administrations were smart. The legislature also put in money-saving caps on spending and volatility. This helps if the state needs to go to Wall Street to borrow. Other states, like Rhode Island, are not so lucky.
“They needed cash within two weeks, and they were struggling to go out to the market to get a line of credit to borrow. We are not in that position.”
The stock market has been a roller coaster, but Treasurer Wooden saidour risk was blunted because of proper planning.
“In March of last year, we changed our asset allocation bringing down our exposure to global equities.”
The state’s rainy day fund will help us ride out the coronavirus storm, but Wooden said another federal stimulus package aimed at helping states make up lost revenues is critical.
“Nobody has a crystal ball and that’s what makes this so scary,” he said.
The State Treasurer is also looking out for workers. He’s written 70 letters to companies, which the state invests in, asking their CEOs to make sure they’re protecting the human capital — the workforce — by providing paid leave.