Monday, July 12, 2021

After 2 big Evers vetoes, a lot of money is around after budget season

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau is out today with a listing of Governor Evers' vetoes and an update on where the Wisconsin budget stands. And it has some very intriguing bits of information that can set the table for the next year of action at the Capitol.

If you read into the document, you'll see most of these vetoes are situations where the GOP Legislature wanted state agencies to give a bunch of reports and requirements for some things (with no funding for this extra work), and Evers basically said "I don't think so." But we also know of two big-dollar vetoes from Evers.

1. Refusing to add another $550 million to the sgtate's already-large Budget Stabilization Fund.
2. Refusing to change the state's withholding tables next January 1, retaining $683.7 million in the short term (although it'll eventually come back in the form of higher tax refunds).

This moves are the main reason that Evers' vetoes allow for more than $1.2 billion more dollars to cushion things and/or play with over the next two years.

This allows for Evers to give another shot at adding resources to education and/or other initiatives if the economy holds up for the next 6-8 months. And it can force WisGOPs to reply to those plans closer to the 2022 elections (or not, which is its own policy decision).

So even with the signing of the budget last week, it doesn't mean that budgetary action is over. In fact, it tells me that the $1.675 billion projected to be around in the next 2 years is going to be an enticing target and big opportunity to do needed changes and reforms, if we choose to.

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