On Nov. 20, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) issued updated revenue and expenditure projections for the current 2018-19 fiscal year and the upcoming 2019-21 biennium. These estimates set the stage for the state’s fiscal position as Gov. Tony Evers prepares the 2019-21 state budget.
Ending the current fiscal year, LFB projects the state will end with a net balance of $616.5 million, $69 million more than the Department of Administration’s (DOA) 2018-19 year-end estimate. LFB attributes the difference between the two estimates to a combination of several factors, including $142.1 million less in projected revenue, $17.4 million in agency revenues, and a reduction of net appropriations of $193.7 million.
Projecting over the three-year period, LFB’s aggregate general fund revenue estimates are $282 million lower than DOA’s November 20 report. However, the state is still projected to have $2.4 billion in new revenues through the biennium. Issuing a statement, Joint Finance Committee co-chairs, Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), proclaimed, “Gov. Evers is inheriting the best budget scenario in a generation.”
The governor has already highlighted several big initiatives for his budget – including funding for public schools, a middle-class tax cut, and transportation funding. Evers has announced he will introduce his 2019-20 budget on February 28.