State budget repairs being negotiated at the Capitol are likely to rely on short-term solutions.
Three plans have been introduced so far to close the state's $527 million budget deficit, with both chambers of the Legislature and the Governor offering a variety of fund transfers, new bonding, and borrowing. Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance President Todd Berry says all of those solutions just push off economic problems for another year.
With several solutions shared between the packages, Berry expects many of them to make it into an eventual compromise budget repair bill. However, he warns that just puts the state in a worse financial position during the next budget cycle.
Of the many solutions being offered, Berry understands the need to borrow from state reserves to pay down the deficit. He says they exist for that purpose. However, lawmakers need to find ways to replenish those funds so they exist to face future economic shortfalls.
Those problems could be coming sooner than expected as well. Berry says Wisconsin could face a structural deficit of over $800 million by 2009.