MacIver News Service | August 6, 2010 11:07 am[Madison, Wisc…] Legislative Republicans are reacting to the shocking revelation that the State of Wisconsin’s General Fund will be a quarter of a billion dollars in the hole this year.
“This is the legacy of Jim Doyle,” State Representative Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) told MacIver News on Friday. “Out-of-control spending has real consequences and the massive tax increases imposed by Democrats last year only fueled more spending and made matters worse.”
Yesterday, we reported that the State of Wisconsin has again shuffled monies in order to meet continuing obligations and the official forecasts by Governor Doyle’s Administration admitted that during the month of December, the state’s General Fund may be more than a quarter of a billion dollars in the hole.
The Department of Administration released the forecast, and information regarding the fund balance transfers last week, although members of the Joint Committee on Finance were first notified of the June fund conditions Thursday.
Robin Vos (R-Racine) is a Republican State Representative on the Committee.
“The checking account is overdrawn by hundreds of millions and the solution given by the Administration to pay the bills is to take out a short term loan and pay back the interest,” said Vos. “It’s no wonder Wisconsin’s budget is such a mess.”
The State continues to resort to borrowing from various accounts to manage the cash flow problems with the General Fund.
According to the Department of Administration, the following fund transfers took place in June.
- On June 21, the General Fund cash balance closed at a negative $8.2 million (its intra-month low). This negative balance continued through June 22, 2010, when the fund’s cash balance closed at a positive $21.7 million.
- One Jun 1, the Medical Assistance Trust Fund cash balance closed at a negative $298.4 million. This negative balance continued through June 30, 2010, when the fund’s cash balance closed at a negative $257.2 million. The Medical Assistance Trust Fund cash balance reached its intra-month low of a negative $299.2 million on June 4, 2010
- On June 1, the Police and Fire Protection Fund cash balance closed at a negative $10.0 million (its intra-month low). This negative balance continued through June 30, 2010, when the fund’s cash balance closed at a negative $5.0 million.
- On June 30, the Environmental Fund cash balance closed at a negative $10.0 million (its intra-month low).
“What’s worse, this is just a preview of what’s to come,” said Vos. “In December, the General Fund is predicted to be $261 million in the hole – only a couple months before the Legislature convenes to fix a $2.5 billion budget deficit left behind by Governor Doyle and his eight years of fiscal recklessness.”
Questions remain whether the condition of the state budget are so bad as to necessitate a Budget Adjustment Bill be taken up during Special Legislative Session.
While state statutes require the Administration to notify the legislature “if authorized expenditures will exceed revenues in the current or forthcoming fiscal year by more than one?half of one percent of the estimated general purpose revenue appropriations for that fiscal year,” that notification has not yet been made. Moreover, state law does not specify any timetable for when a Budget Adjustment Bill has to be introduced by the Governor or addressed by the legislature.
“After eight years of Democrats setting the spending agenda through Doyle’s Budget proposals, the bill has finally come due,” said Huebsch.