The Doyle administration wants to make it very clear. The state has to have a budget. And that's a reality not a threat.
Some Republicans are scoffing at the Governor's warnings of possible state worker lay-offs, cuts in Senior Care, the University or Corrections, claiming the current budget is good until 2009.
But the governor's spokesman, Matt Canter, says they are dead wrong and are putting the state on shaky fiscal ground.
For example, the University and Corrections Department, he says, operate on an annual budget not biannual. That means they could run out if money early next year. Canter says we're talking about zero dollars and zero cents.
Canter says budget negotiators are merely inches apart rather than miles but contingency plans have to be made including possible lay-offs. He says that's not a threat but a reality if the state is put into a fiscal crisis.
The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance has suggested the state's economy is good and new revenues keep coming in. Canter agrees but without a budget, he says, the state has no authority to spend that money. It has to be appropriated by the legislature.
Budget negotiations continue. Canter says the Governor is optimistic.