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DMV Overtime on Track to Double

The Department of Motor Vehicles, which recently saw its commissioner resign amid serious customer service problems, spent $1.9 million on overtime in the first six months of fiscal year 2016, already exceeding the $1.7 million spent in 2015.

DMV overtime is only likely to increase with a backlog of hundreds of thousands of requests. Gov. Dannel Malloy recently appointed Dennis Murphy, former deputy commissioner of the Labor Department, to replace Andres Ayala as DMV commissioner.

Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation spent $4 million on overtime. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spent less than $100,000 on overtime from the Special Transportation Fund. Since DEEP regulates boating, it pays for this portion of its overtime with money from the STF.

Fiscal years run from July to June. In the first half of fiscal year 2016, Connecticut spent about $125 million on overtime, including $6 million from the special transportation fund. This puts the state on track to spend $250 million on overtime for the year.

A transportation funding panel created by Malloy recently floated a $42 billion tax increase to fund future projects. Lawmakers should scrutinize overtime payments before authorizing additional funding.

Last year, the DMV spent a total of $1.7 million on overtime for the entire year, and in 2014 that number was $1 million. If the DMV continues to use overtime at its current rate it will spend $3.8 million this year, more than doubling the prior year’s spending.

The Office of Fiscal Analysis released overtime numbers for state employees paid through the state’s General Fund on Jan. 4. At the time the report said overtime numbers were not available for employees paid out of the special transportation fund, citing “availability” and “reliability” issues with the data.

However, DOT and DMV provided the data to the Yankee Institute upon request.

From the General Fund, the largest spenders on overtime were the Department of Correction at $37.6 million for six months, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services at $26.2 million, the Department of Developmental Services at $22.7 million, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection at $13.3 million, and the Department of Children and Families at $9.6 million.

Final pension payments for state employees do include overtime earnings.

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