The Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau gave the budget a boost, both in how much money the Capitol will have to play with in 2017-’19 and the state’s ending balance for 2015-’17.
In November, Gov. Scott Walker’s administration had projected nearly $1.4 billion in revenue growth for 2017-’19.
But the LFB recently upped by $454.6 million the state’s expected tax haul through mid-2019. That includes $63.4 million more in the current budget, which runs through June 30.
LFB also is now projecting a gross balance on June 30 of $427.2 million, $322.4 million more than the Walker administration projected in November.
LFB chalked that up to the expected bump in tax collections, $33 million more than anticipated in departmental revenues and a $226 million drop in net appropriations.
In November, the Walker administration reported spending requests from state agencies outstripped revenue projections by $693 million. The higher ending balance for 2015-’17 and the increase in revenue projections would more than wipe that out even before the governor and lawmakers begin paring agency requests.
Walker said in a news release the numbers indicate the state economy “is in the best shape it’s been in 15 years.”
“These growing revenue numbers are a sign that what we’re doing in Wisconsin is working,” he said. “While this is certainly good news, our budget priorities will remain the same. We will increase funding to public education at all levels, continue tax relief and reward work.”
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