State Budget Director Robert Megna directed agencies to hold spending at current levels next year, even as the state is looking at a budget surplus that may be its largest ever. As a result of legal settlements and limited spending growth over the last four years, the state is expecting its surplus to exceed $4 billion.

Megna wrote to state agency heads:

“We are holding spending growth below 2 percent for the fourth consecutive year, continuing a record of fiscal discipline that has reversed decades where state spending increased at a higher rate than inflation and personal income growth.”

State agency spending plans must be submitted to the Division of Budget (DOB) by Oct. 21. The state’s proposed 2015-16 spending plan will be released next January, and the state’s 2015-16 fiscal year begins on April 1, 2015.