MADISON (WRN-WSAU) The latest state spending and revenue estimates show the budget shortfall is larger than expected.
The deficit for the state of Wisconsin is $136.7 million for the current biennial budget, according to new figures from the State Budget Office. Governor Scott Walker released a breakdown of the numbers, which includes $58.7-million that's owed to Minnesota for the terminated tax reciprocity agreement, a $153.2-million deficit in Medical Assistance Programs, and $21.7-million deficit in the Department of Corrections. D
Alberta Darling, co-chair of the state's joint finance committee, says it's important to address the repair budget before attacking the next two-year budget, which is estimated to have a 3.6 billion dollar shortfall, when figuring in agency requests and previously-approved tax cuts. Darling says we simply cannot afford all the government programs. Darling stresses it's time to think outside the box, and that means retooling, refining, and reforming government spending.
Another $200-million is owed to the Patients Compensation Fund. That's not calculated into the tally, along with interest on that debt and $45-hundred dollars a day interest on the Tax Reciprocity debt to the Gopher State.
Governor Walker will give lawmakers a budget repair bill in the coming weeks.