Non-Fiscal Proposals at Heart of Budget Stalemate

Jon Peacock and Tamarine Cornelius
March 2, 2011

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The state’s budget adjustment bill, aimed at closing the shortfall that has opened in fiscal year 2011, has provoked a stand-off in the Wisconsin State Senate and fueled furious public opposition. The purpose of the budget adjustment bill is to address the gap between revenues and spending that is projected to occur in the remainder of fiscal year 2011, an amount that Governor Walker’s administration has estimated at $137 million. Disagreements over the budget adjustment bill have largely focused on non-fiscal policy provisions in the bill.

At first glance, it would appear that solving the immediate deficit issue for fiscal year 2011 would not be very difficult. A debt restructuring proposal included in the bill would save $165 million in the current fiscal year, and public employee unions have made key concessions by agreeing to the Governor’s demand that they contribute substantially more for health care benefits and pensions. Read full publication.