BREAKING: @GovEvers now projects budget surplus for 2022-23 will hit $6.6 billion.— JR Ross (@jrrosswrites) November 21, 2022
New report expects revenues to grow $323.8 million in '23-24 and another $855.1 million in '24-25.
A report released today by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) estimates state revenues are expected to moderately increase over the next biennium, with a record-high surplus and an all-time high Budget Stabilization Fund. DOA projects a gross general fund balance of $6.576 billion at the end of the current fiscal year. This record-setting figure does not include the roughly $1.734 billion currently in the state’s budget stabilization (“rainy day”) fund. State general fund balances for the next biennium are estimated to be $8.421 billion at the end of the 2023-24 fiscal year and $9.757 billion at the end of the 2024-25 fiscal year.These are incomprehensible numbers. Let’s look at the report and see how we got there. What’s remarkable is that the DOA report assumes a sizable increase in costs over the next 2 years.
…If all requests were approved, agency budget requests alone would increase total spending (on an all funds basis) from the adjusted base of $44.165 billion in the current year to $47.669 billion (7.9 percent). For fiscal year 2024-25, agencies are seeking $48.856 billion, an increase of $1.187 billion (2.5 percent over fiscal year 2023-24. Requests for GPR expenditures of $20.808 billion are included in fiscal year 2023-24 and $22.148 billion in fiscal year 2024-25. These figures reflect overall agency annual GPR requests of $1.143 billion (5.8 percent) in fiscal year 2023-24 over fiscal year 2022-23 and an increase of $1.339 billion (6.4 percent) in fiscal year 2024-25 over fiscal year 2023-24.That seems like a large increase in spending, but let’s not forget that some of this is to make up for the loss of COVID relief funds from DC, and some of it is to “catch up” from the jump in inflation in 2021 and early 2022 which was never accounted for in the 2021-23 state budget. I’ll add that the overwhelming majority of that requested increase is from the Department of Public Instruction, which was announced by Superintendent Jill Underly back in September with approval from Governor Evers. And the amount of K-12 school spending and where it goes is sure to be one of the central fights in this upcoming budget debate. I think it’s appropriate to graph out how this breaks down, because it reiterates how we not only have a lot of money in the bank, but we have a structural surplus where well over $1 billion more is expected to come into state government vs what is being spent.
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