Governor Scott Walker has signed a bill designed to balance the budget for the current fiscal year. Walker said the bill allows state government to end fiscal 2011, which ends June 30th, with a balance – something he set out to do six weeks ago with a more controversial bill. “It was a series of things that we needed to do in state government, to make sure we finished fiscal year 2011 without going into a deficit,” said Walker.
The legislature passed the bill Tuesday. Much of the focus is on refinancing state debt to save $165 million dollars. “It’s something we set out to do about a month and a-half ago, and we’re finally seeing the complete package come through.” The package is fiscal elements included in Walker’s original budget repair measure which included hugely controversial changes to collective bargaining – which were passed separately and are the subject of a court challenge. As he signed the bill, Walker praised it as a bipartisan effort – it picked up three Democratic votes in the Senate and one in the Assembly.