Governor Tony Evers said Wednesday that his administration is formulating plans to cut state operating budgets by five percent, or approximately $70 million, due to increased costs and decreasing revenues due to the coronavirus pandemic
“This is a first step,” Evers said. “Cutting the operations budgets by five percent is approximately 70 million dollars in savings, which is important for us as a government going forward.”
Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan said his agency is working out specifics of how the cuts will be implemented. The cuts apply to state agencies, the UW System and technical colleges. A hiring freeze will be maintained, expect for positions related to the state’s pandemic response.
The action is seemingly one of the only things Evers has done right in the eyes of Republican leaders. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos called it “a smart, proactive move by the administration.”
“We believe another prudent move might be to freeze the second year of the budget so that Wisconsin can plan accordingly,” Vos said in a statement.