Gov. Scott Walker's administration said Monday that Wisconsin faces a nearly $700 million budget shortfall by mid-2019, a problem that the Republican-controlled Legislature will have to tackle after it reconvenes next month.
The estimate from the state Department of Administration is the first to take into account spending requests made by state agencies for the next two years.
Writing the state budget will dominate the first six months of the next legislative session, with plugging a $1 billion state transportation shortfall at the forefront of problems Walker and GOP lawmakers must confront.
The report required every two years typically shows a shortfall because state agency requests are often wish lists that aren't fully met by the Legislature.
Two years ago the same report showed a $2.2 billion gap.