Gov. Tony Evers recently provided state agencies with his major budget policies for 2021-23. The budget instructions request agencies prepare budgets without asking for new spending in either year of the biennium.
The budget policies direct agencies to assume zero budget growth in both fiscal years of the biennium but provide exceptions for K-12 school aids and cost-to-continue programs including Department of Health Services institutions and the state Medical Assistance program. State agencies should also work within their base budgets, including for any areas needing additional staff.
The budget instructions further ask agencies to review how they can reallocate resources, integrate programs, and consolidate functions to advance their missions and priorities. Additionally, agencies should ensure they are fully utilizing available federal funds. In a statement on the budget policies, Gov. Evers said he “will redouble my efforts to seek to secure all resources available to us from the federal government, including expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act, as 36 other states have done across our nation.”
Formal agency budget requests are due to the State Budget Office on Sept. 15, kicking off the state’s biennial budget process. Next, the governor will craft his proposed budget, which is typically presented to the legislature early in odd-numbered years.