State Forecast $700 million Off Previous Estimates

MacIver News Service | December 20, 2010  

[Madison, Wisc…] In their final quarterly projections before leaving office, the Doyle Administration now predicts the state will begin the new year with nearly $700 million less than they forecast just three months ago.

Further, the Doyle Administration’s new forecast warns that at some point during the month of January, the state’s General Fund may be more than $427 million in the red.

The Department of Administration released the forecast, and information regarding the fund balance transfers in  memos to the Joint Committee on Finance Co-Chairs Senator Mark Miller Representative Mark Pocan.

The new quarterly forecast just released by DOA shows the General Fund with a beginning balance in January of -$376,5 million, a difference of $695.3 million appearing only three months after their last forecast. In September, the state’s quarterly forecast indicated Wisconsin’s General Fund would begin the year with a positive balance of $318.8 million. 

In the September memo to the Department to the Finance co-Chairs, DOA Secretary Dan Schooff projected the state’s General Fund would face a deficit as vast as $386.3 million during the month of December, which was up from the previously forecast deficit of $261.6 million in December, which was issued in August .

However, all previous correspondence between DOA and members of the Joint Committee on Finance had predicted that when overall cashflow was considered, the state would begin 2011 with a positive balance in the General Fund.

MacIver News will update this story, and provide reaction, as it develops.