Tony Evers’ Budget Takes Nearly $2 Billion Out of Improving State Fiscal Situation | local government

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Stein said it’s not uncommon for the state to commit to funding a budget but not pay it until the next budget.

“It’s something that we kind of developed as a state to make sure we had enough cash to pay our liabilities,” Stein added. “But what has changed is that we have accumulated these substantial balances in the general fund and the rainy day fund.”

Despite the progress, Wisconsin was among the worst in the nation when it comes to its ending cash balance. Wisconsin, Kentucky and Illinois are the only states to end 2018 with a negative GAAP general fund balance.

Late last year, the state announced that it had ended its most recent fiscal year with a positive general fund balance, by GAAP, for the first time in at least 30 years. The state’s separate Rainy Days Fund, which must be tapped during a recession or fiscal emergency, reached $761.8 million – the largest fund balance in the history of the state. State.

“We went from a $3 billion hole 10 years ago to a positive result,” Marklein said. “If we pass the governor’s budget as is, we’ll go from this positive feedback to a $938 million hole in a single budget.”

Political budget

The GAAP deficit has long been a political tool for Wisconsin politicians. When Walker ran for governor in 2010, he pledged to require the use of GAAP accounting principles to balance every budget. But after eight years in office, he never delivered on that campaign promise, even though the state found itself in a much better financial position than it was when he took office.

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