Wisconsin’s federal dollars as a portion of state revenue falls sharply

Pew report shows most states experienced Medicaid-driven increases

Wisconsin State Capitol
Wisconsin State Capitol
Graph courtesy The Pew Charitable Trusts.

A new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts shows the percentage of Wisconsin revenue coming from federal dollars fell sharply in 2016.

According to the report, the overall share of states’ revenue funded by federal dollars rose in fiscal 2016 for the third consecutive year, to 32.6 percent, up from 31.9 percent in 2015.

The increase was driven mainly by rising federal Medicaid grants fueled by expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Federal grants to states increased 5.2 percent in 2016.

But Wisconsin’s share of federal dollars fell 1.2 percent, making it the second-steepest decline year-over-year among all 50 states.

Gov. Scott Walker has on several occasions since 2014 turned down federal funding for a full expansion of Medicaid under the ACA, opting instead for a partial expansion paid for by the state.

Thirty states increased federal dollars as a share of state revenue in 2016, 20 of which were Medicaid expansion states.

Among revenue sources for states are federal grants, income taxes, public university tuition, tolls and lottery receipts.

The Pew report is based on the most recent available data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of State Government Finances.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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