Governor Scott Walker is downplaying a new report that shows the state could face a $1.1 billion deficit in the 2019 budget cycle, under the plan he presented to lawmakers earlier this year.
The figure is based on a memo from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, which previously estimated a $740 million gap under the governor’s plan. While Walker said during a stop in Mishicot Friday that the projection is not inaccurate, it’s only accurate if you assume there is no growth in the state. “We’ve never had no growth,” he said.
Walker said that, based on reasonable levels of growth, he expects a surplus by the end of biennium – which has been the case in previous budgets. “We think if we continue to do the things we’re talking about – the investments in education and workforce development – you’ll actually see higher growth than what we projected,” he said.
Walker’s budget is expected to undergo major changes before the Legislature votes on the plan in June. The budget-writing Joint Finance Committee will begin holding agency briefings on the plan next week. A series of public hearings has also been scheduled for next month.
WOMT contributed to this report