The Walker administration says the state of Wisconsin will start the next two year budget cycle with hundreds of millions in the bank and revenue growth of $1.5 billion.
The report from the Department of Administration says that between a surplus in the state's general fund and deposits to a rainy day fund, the state will finish this budget at the end of June with roughly $467 million dollars in the bank. That number is small in the context of an overall budget that between state and federal money will total nearly $68 billion over the next two years. But it's a far cry from the multi-billion dollar deficits the state started with the past two budgets.
The Walker administration is projecting state revenue growth of $1.5 billion. But the administration cautions that number could change depending on what happens in Washington with the so-called "fiscal cliff." As it stands right now, new revenue would not quite cover the amount of new spending requested by state agencies. Likewise, it does not take into account the tax cuts being discussed by Walker and other Republicans.
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos praised the report, saying it showed Wisconsin is "back on track." Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson urged caution before relying solely on numbers provided by an agency filled with partisan appointees. Larson said he would wait until the "real" budgetary numbers are released by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau in January.