Budget requests from Wisconsin government agencies exceed expected state revenues in the next two-year budget cycle. Those numbers will be a starting point for Republican Governor Scott Walker and GOP legislators as they begin the task of putting together a state budget – one they hope will include a tax cut.
According to agency requests and revenue estimates released Thursday by the state Department of Administration, the “ask” is $2.2 billion more than what will be taken in through state taxes for 2015-2017.
But DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch and state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos make it clear – state agencies will not get everything they want. Huebsch called that a “flawed assumption” and Vos said the requests reflect a “wish list . . . that’s not going to happen.”
The co-chairs of the state’s budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance, State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette), also released a statement. “These numbers are an exercise based on agencies wish lists which will not find their way into the Governor’s budget,” it read in part. “For example, (Department of Public Instruction Superintendent) Tony Evers $700 million dollar increase despite the fact that our most expensive districts are among our lowest performers.”
Huebsch, in a letter to Walker and state lawmakers, stated that general purpose revenues are expected to increase by $392 million in the first year of the budget cycle, and $618 million in the second year, for a total take of $1.4 billion.