On Nov. 20, the Department of Administration (DOA) released a summary of the state agency budget requests and revenue estimate for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. Typically, this revenue estimate has been used as the foundation for the development of the 2019-21 state budget. According to the report, the state ended FY 2017-18 with a healthy balance of $588.5 million and is projected to finish the current fiscal year (ending June 30, 2019) with a balance of $622.6 million.
Adding to the balance of $622.6 million, DOA estimates the state will take in $1.635 billion over the revised FY 2018-19 base. After subtracting the transfers to the Budget Stabilization Fund, DOA estimates $2.105 billion in new revenue over fiscal years 2019-21.
Even with the additional revenue, agency budget requests still exceed the additional revenue by nearly $1.1 billion. The bulk of the agency increase is from the Department of Public Instruction ($1.592 billion in additional GPR) and the Department of Health Services ($623.9 million GPR for the medical assistance cost-to-continue). It is noted that the imbalance of agency requests versus estimated revenue is not an uncommon occurrence and typically is modified since not all agency requests are approved.
The state’s revenue picture will continue to be fine-tuned in the budget process. Governor-elect Tony Evers will develop his budget quickly and will likely deliver the budget to the legislature in the first month or two of 2019. In addition, updated revenue estimates will be released by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau in January.