Wisconsin state agencies are requesting more money than is expected to be available over the next two years. Figures released by the Department of Administration show state agencies requesting $1.6 billion more in new funding than the state is expected to take in during the next budget cycle. But State Budget Director Dave Schmiedicke says that's not surprising in the least. He says every budget starts with a negative number, and the figure isn't much different than what the state was facing during the last budgeting process.
Schmiedicke says Governor Doyle will use the projections to help develop the next state budget proposal. He says the figures help show him what priorities the state needs to set over the next two years.
Senate Majority Leader-elect Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) was among Republican leaders critical of the report. He says it shows officials have gotten over delusional proposals put forth by state agencies in their requests. Assembly Speaker-elect Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) also weighed in the report, saying Wisconsin continues to face a deficit because the state spends too much. But, Huebsch says Republicans are willing to work with the governor to fix the deficit without raising taxes.
Governor Doyle will release his budget plan this spring, after the new state Legislature takes office.