UPDATE: Lawmakers announced late Tuesday evening that they have reached a tentative agreement on a budget deal. Assembly Republican Leader Jim Steineke said it will cut transportation funding, while protecting several major projects. Funding for a Milwaukee Bucks arena and a repeal of the prevailing wage will be removed, and taken up as separate legislation. More details were expected to be released at a Capitol news conference Wednesday morning.
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As June ends, so does Wisconsin’s fiscal year…and it’s ending without a new state budget in place.
The state’s fiscal year ended at midnight without lawmakers taking action on a budget plan for the new biennium. Unlike at the federal level though, state government will continue to operate without a new budget. Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance researcher Dale Knapp says “funding levels for all state departments will continue at the levels where they were in the last fiscal year, so residents of the state will not experience any interruption.”
Knapp notes that past budgets have been completed after a fiscal year ended, although it usually happens with split-party control at the Capitol. He admits that “it’s unusual to see this happen when you have one party controlling both houses and the governor’s office.”
Majority Republicans have been in a stalemate for over a month on a number of issues, including transportation funding, financing for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena, and whether to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law. Leaders in both chambers have said they have been unable to reach a consensus in those areas.
Knapp says the stalemate should not be a serious concern unless it stretches into mid-July. However, he expects it could be settled relatively soon. GOP leaders continue to meet this week at the Capitol, with some indications that they are getting closer to an agreement.