Raiding Segregated Funds

There are No More Funds Left to Raid
State’s Cookie Jar, Mattress, Sock Drawer, Sugar Canister All Empty

Did you know that the Doyle Administration has notified legislative leaders that many state segregated funds are running huge deficits?

In the past several years, the Doyle budgets have relied on raids from 18 segregated accounts that were established to fund particular programs in state government. Today, there is no way to find enough ‘spare cash’ in these funds to meet Governor Doyle’s desire to increase spending by 10%.

Many of the segregated funds are in the hole. Yet, instead of restraining spending, the proposals on the table in Madison are centered around massive hikes in taxes on families, job providers and entrepreneurs.

Wisconsin’s position in this recession is much worse than most other states because of the poor fiscal management in the past. While the entire nation is working its way through tough economic times, the foolish fund raids of the Doyle budgets of the past are a huge reason Wisconsin has among the highest state budget deficits in the country. A deficit that Governor Doyle is soon expected to announce is getting worse by the month.

From the DOA letter:

On March 1, 2009, the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund cash balance closed at a negative $73.2 million. This negative balance continued through March 31, 2009, when the fund’s cash balance closed at a negative $76.8 million. The Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund cash balance reached its intra-month low of a negative $77.0 million on March 27, 2009. The negative balance was due to the transfer of $200 million to the Medical Assistance Trust Fund per 2007 Wisconsin Act 20, and the pending liquidation of fund securities necessary to offset this shortfall.

The letter also informed the legislature of shortfalls in the General Fund (-$485.3 million), the Conservation Fund (-$19.5 million), the Utility Public Benefits Fund (-$2.1million) and the Lottery Fund (-$4 million)

Since 2003, Governor Doyle has signed budgets which have raided more than $1.6 billion from segregated funds for purposes other than those for which they were intended.

Copies of the letter regarding the deficits and a Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo outlining all of the segregated fund raids since 2003 are below:

Doyle’s fund transfers since 2003.pdf
Empty Cookie Jar.pdf