Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Apparently there's no repair needed for the current budget

I was wondering about the status of the current-year state budget, given last week's announcement that there would be no added revenues in either Fiscal Year 2015 or the 2015-17 budget/ This means that there needs to be expense reductions since January's estimates from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau said there was $283 million that had to be made up.

Well, Wisconsin Public Radio's Shawn Johnson answered my question yesterday by saying that there shouldn't be a need for a budget repair bill for these next 6 qweeks, as expenses should be able to come in just low enough to balance.
[LFB Director Bob] Lang said the Walker administration saved about $98 million by reducing the amount it set aside for state employee compensation. Also, Lang said the Potawatomi paid the state $50 million as part of its gaming compact. That happened after Gov. Scott Walker rejected a proposed Kenosha casino project.

The Walker administration also delayed the repayment of $108 million in state debt and refinanced another $10 million in borrowing. Lang said that left the state closer to $15 million in the hole this fiscal year, which he said the administration can likely make up on its own if it needs to.
So this administration doesn't give state employees anything past a meager 1% raise (so much for Act 10 being a one-time hit), cave in to the fundies and the Potawatomi by not building the Kenosha casino (and cost the area thousands of jobs), and kick $118 million in debt down the road. And then after that, MAYBE they'll lapse enough money to make things get to $0.....if May and June's revenue growth is about 4.8%.

Sounds like a stable, well-run operation, doesn't it?


  1. The question is, why did Walker & his GOP buddies in the legislature not use the exact same techniques in 2011 to cover a far smaller projected deficit?

    It behooves us to remember at this point that the FY10-11 budget that Walker inherited was never repaired. The budget repair bill aka Act 10 was injuncted in full until the last 2 days of FY11.

    1. Interesting how that worked out, isn't it Geoff? And they never mention the $636 million in extra revenues that the Doyle-Dem budget gave them for Fiscal Years 2011-2013 to balance those budgets with much less difficulty.

      But one's an emergency in need of immediate repair, while another is allowed to play out with behind-the-scenes steps. Funny that.