The Wheeler Report conducted a comprehensive review of agency budget requests, which showed that a cumulative total of new funding requests exceeds one billion dollars of General Purpose Revenue. Among their findings:
More than $1.1 billion of General Fund spending increases in order to achieve a “cost-to-continue” budget for the 2011-13 biennium. In some instances, the $1.1 billion includes state funds to replace one-time federal funds included in the 2009-11 budget approved by the Legislature.
Some of the funds included in agency requests are included in the Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s July 9 memo outlining current General Fund conditions and identifying at least $2.5 billion in future commitments, otherwise known as the structural deficit.
The $1.1 billion was the result of a review by The Wheeler Report, which began with agencies determining their 2010-11 adjusted base budget, doubling that for the next two year budget period, and then adding required revenues to continue operations.
The Wheeler findings trouble Republican lawmakers at the Capitol.
“Governor Doyle’s agency heads seem bound and determined to continue his legacy of reckless spending and endless debt,” said State Representative Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem). “They obviously don’t know about the number one rule of holes: When you’re in one, the first thing you need to do is quit digging.”
The latest revelations come on the heels of reports by MacIver News which show Wisconsin’s budget situation is worsening.
Earlier this month we reported that Governor Jim Doyle’s Administration secretary had announced the repeated shuffle monies in order to meet continuing obligations.
Further, the Doyle Administration’s new forecast warns that during the month of December, the state’s General Fund may be more than $386 million in the red, a gap that is $125 million more than previously forecast.