WI Budget Project Releases Analysis of Competing Budget Adjustment Bills
The 2011 budget adjustment bill provoked intense debate in the Wisconsin State Assembly, but most of the disputes have centered on non-fiscal policy changes. A new analysis by the Wisconsin Budget Project shows that in terms of fiscal changes, the version of the budget adjustment bill that was offered by Assembly Democrats was substantially similar to the version that was eventually passed by the Republican-controlled Assembly. A third version, proposed by Senator Mark Miller on February 28th does not include debt restructuring but is otherwise similar to the two other versions.
None of the fiscal differences between the different versions of the bill have a significant bearing on the impasse. The differences between the Republicans and Democrats on the fiscal issues are not ideological, and it’s likely the Democrats could easily give up their position on these fiscal issues if much more contentious policy issues weren’t creating an impasse.
In light of the similarity between the fiscal measures in the Assembly-passed bill and other proposals, it’s clear that the controversy surrounding the budget adjustment bill stems largely from the inclusion of non-fiscal policy in the budget.