Despite $2.1B projected revenue boost, $1.1B would be needed to meet all agency asks

Photo by Michelle Stocker, The Capital Times

The outgoing Walker administration delivered Gov.-elect Tony Evers a dose of good news for his first budget with the state expected to have new revenues of $2.1 billion through mid-2021.

Still, that was tempered somewhat by agency budget requests that outstrip expected revenue growth by nearly $1.1 billion.

That means Evers will either have to pare back agency spending requests or find revenue uppers to make his first budget balance.

Evers’ transition spokeswoman Carrie Lynch in a statement Tuesday noted it’s not unusual for agency budget requests to exceed projected revenue. She added Evers “is confident his team can put together a balanced budget that puts Wisconsin children and families first.”

The Walker administration release noted it is typical for agency spending request to exceed expected revenues, adding three agencies account for bulk of the $3 billion in new new general purpose revenue spending requested. DPI, the agency Evers now leads, the UW System and the Department of Health Services combined to seek $2.3 billion in additional GPR.

The agency proposals also include some $180 million in new tax cuts that Gov. Scott Walker had proposed as part of his unsuccessful re-election bid. If Evers chose to ignore those proposals, it would decrease the imbalance between expected revenues and requested agency spending.

Joint Finance Committee Co-chairs Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. John Nygren touted the new revenue figures in a joint statement and praised Walker for “leaving Wisconsin in much better fiscal shape than what he inherited.”

“Wisconsin is on the right track and this report proves it,” the two Republicans said. “With the amount of money coming into the state, we can continue to fund priorities like education, continue to cut taxes, and balance the budget.”

See the full story in the Budget Blog:
https://www.wispolitics.com/category/subscribers-only/budget/

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