December 21, 2014

State projects surplus

There’s some encouraging fiscal news for Wisconsin, as the administration of Governor Scott Walker said Tuesday that the state will be entering the next biennial budget with a modest surplus. “Five, six years ago we were looking at about a $6 billion structural deficit. Just two years ago when the governor came in, it was $3.2 billion,” said Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch. “Governor Walker has turned that around, so structurally we’re in balance.” According to figures released by the DOA, the current two-year state budget is expected to end with a $342 million surplus next June 30th.

“As we go in to build the next budget, we know we’re going to see additional revenue through economic growth, and through the frugal management that has been undertaken by the Walker administration. Really, for the first time in about ten years, the state of Wisconsin can look at what it is they want to do, and how to invest those dollars,” said Huebsch. Walker has indicated that an income tax cut could be in the works, while Democrats in the legislature have called for increased funding for K-through-12 education.

Huebsch says there will be no need to pass an emergency package of spending cuts in the first part of next year. “The state of Wisconsin can expect additional revenue coming in of about $1.5 billion” over the next two years, said Huebsch. He did caution that events in Washington and in the global economy, could have an impact on revenue projections. “All of those things could have an impact on the job and employment picture in Wisconsin, as well as revenues that could come into the state.”