Lawmakers do some tweaking on the state budget. The budget writing Joint Finance Committee approves a measure authorizing the use of $261 million of federal stimulus money to pay state school aids, rather than using state revenues for that purpose.
JFC co-chair, Senator Mark Miller, went over the provision with Legislative Fiscal Bureau Director Bob Lang. "In other words, the bill basically allows a swap out, instead of using federal money in the next biennium to make the school aid payments, we'll be doing it in this biennium, and instead of using GPR (general purpose revenue) in this biennium, we'll be using GPR in the next biennium," said Miller. "Exactly," replied Lang.
But Representative Robin Vos, a Republican on the budget writing panel, questioned the wisdom of using one-time federal money to cover what he called "the Doyle deficit."
"We can go ahead and do all the things that have to be done, but instead we're using that one-time money for an ongoing purpose, to make that deficit disappear for a few months," said Vos. "That's really what this is. I'll vote for this because it doesn't really matter, and it's a political document that the Doyle administration is putting forward."
Fiscal Bureau Director Lang said the funds swap out will allow the state to close out the fiscal year with a balance of around seventy million dollars.