State budget year will end with positive balance

State agency requests exceed money available
State budget year will end with positive balance

Gov. Scott Walker’s administration said no emergency budget bill will be necessary next year and the state is poised to end the two-year budget cycle in June with a $348 million balance.

Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch laid out the figures in a letter required under the law delivered Tuesday to Walker and members of the Legislature.

The memo said state revenues are projected to increase by 3.8 percent in the first year of the next budget which begins in July and go up 3.5 percent in the second year.

“What that means, of course, is that as we build this next budget we can plan to figure out where we want to invest those dollars rather than determine how we’re going to pay off bills from past years,” Huebsch said.

The revenue figures will be factors as the state enters the next two-year budget process.

“You got schools that got cut fairly significantly in the last budget. Municipalities and counties with shared revenues got cut, so there was a lot of places that were cut that are going to be coming back and looking to begin to be made whole. So lawmakers are probably going to try to balance some sort of an income tax cut with the requests,” said Dale Knapp, of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

State agencies have requested $171 million more in funding than is projected to be available under the next budget.

The numbers were put together by the governor’s administration, but the director of the Legislative Fiscal Bureau called the estimates “reasonable.”

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau will put out estimates in mid-January.

Walker will submit his budget to lawmakers in February. They are expected to pass it around June.