State Agencies Submit 2021-23 Budget Requests

The 2021-23 state budget development process is now underway. On September 15, Wisconsin state agencies submitted their 2021-23 state budget requests to the governor and Department of Administration (DOA). In his June budget instructions to the state agencies, Governor Evers directed agencies to assume zero budget growth (with a few exceptions like exceptions for K-12 school aids and cost-to-continue programs including Department of Health Services institutions and the state Medical Assistance program).

While most state agencies followed the governor’s instructions, others, like Department of Military Affairs, made significant requests. Wispolitics reported that agency requests total a net increase of $755 million in general purpose revenue (GPR). This total does not include K-12 education state aid – the largest cost for the state’s budget.

During fall and early winter 2020, the DOA State Budget Office develops a budget based on the governor’s agenda and agencies’ requests. The governor then presents his budget to the state legislature for its consideration in the beginning of the next legislative session – typically January or February 2020.

Read about individual agency budget requests of note below:

Department of Health Services

  • Includes an additional 1.15 billion GPR over the biennium for cost-to-continue budget for the state’s Medicaid program.
  • Assumes the state moves forward with Medicaid expansion, which would increase the income eligibility limit for parents, caretakers, and childless adults from 100% to 138% of the federal poverty level.
  • Includes savings of $588 million GPR from Medicaid expansion.

 Department of Natural Resources

  • Reauthorizes the Stewardship program funded at $50 million per year for another 10 years (through fiscal year 2032). DNR did not include subprogram funding levels in the request.
  • Includes $6.5 million in additional bonding for small-scale and large-scale Targeted Runoff Management (TRM) projects and Notice of Discharge (NOD) cost-sharing grants to governmental units working with owners and operators of livestock operations to meet required pollution controls.
  • Requests $4.0 million in bonding authority for the urban nonpoint (UNPS) and municipal flood control (MFC) grant programs and statutory language change for more flexibility to use the maximum amount of program revenue for stormwater management purposes.
  • Includes $6 million in additional bonding authority for dam repair, reconstruction, and removal projects.

Department of Tourism

  • Appropriates funding for three permanent full-time employees to staff the Office of Outdoor Recreation.
  • Continues the Market Expansion funds into the biennium for increase of $1.56 million over the biennium.
  • Matches $53,200 GPR annually for the annual federal National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Partnership agreement award.

Department of Children and Families

  • Provides rulemaking authority for Qualified Residential Treatment Program, which DCF states is needed to be compliant with Family First Prevention Services Act and $140,000 GPR for congregate care facilities.
  • Includes $8.4 million GPR for a new appropriation for In-home Services – DCF states that this is needed to claim federal matching funds and reorient toward placement prevention.
  • Requests change to clearly define the term “allocate” for TANF and CCDF-funded contracts
  • Separates the YoungStar quality rating and improvement system with the Wisconsin Shares program.

Office of Commissioner of Insurance

  • Includes a reestimate of the state and federal costs for the 1332 state reinsurance plan (called the Healthcare Stability Plan). OCI estimates state investment will decrease by $14.2 million GPR and those costs will be paid by federal funds.

 Public Service Commission

  • Removes $22 million broadband expansion grants from base budget.
  • Restructures the intervenor grant program and reduces costs of $300,000 PR in each year of biennium.
  • Modifies current law for the Focus on Energy program to require each energy utility to spend 2.4% (increase from 1.2%) of its annual operating revenues derived from retail sales to fund the program. PSC projects this will result in an annual program increase of $100 million.

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

  • Continues funding at $200,000 GPR over biennium to provide mental health assistance to farmers.
  • Amends the rural development statute to include grants for business enterprises or rural economic development.
  • Includes $7 million in additional bonding authority to support cost-sharing grants to landowners for runoff control technology.

Department of Justice

  • Appropriates $3.5 mil GPR over biennium to continue support for Treatment Alternatives and Diversion Program, the Drug Court Program, the Pre-Booking Diversion Pilot Program and criminal investigation operations.
  • Includes $494,000 GPR for TAD program tech positions and various statute changes for the program.
  • Makes statutory changes to support expenditures related to reimbursements to local and state government agencies for basic and annual recertification training for law enforcement, juvenile justice and corrections officers that are an entitlement under state law.
  • Adds position authority for one position to focus on implicit bias, procedural justice and racial intelligence education and another on first responder mental health.

Department of Military Affairs

  • Requests $40 million SEG (Police and Fire Protection Fund) for of the Emergency Services Internet Protocol Network (ESInet) System to move towards enabling Next Generation 911 (NG911) which will support a statewide 911 system upgrades.
  • Includes $6.5 million GPR in FY22 and $27.5 GPR in FY23 for a new statewide interoperable radio network (WISCOM).
  • Calls for statute change to clarify that state agencies, campuses in the UW System and eligible not-for-profit entities qualify for the portion of the state share (12.5%) of paid as a part of a federal disaster assistance program.

Department of Revenue

  • Amends the statute to eliminate the option for a municipality to pay the manufacturing assessment fee by check and make the amount automatically out of municipal shared revenue payments.

Department of Workforce Development

  • Transfers adjudicatory functions, authority, and staff for worker’s compensation from DOA Division of Hearings and Appeals to DWD Worker’s Comp Division.
  • Expands of Apprenticeship Completion Award Program by $500,000 (through transfer from tuition reimbursement payments.
  • Transfers $500,000 from the unemployment insurance drug testing account to unemployment insurance general account and makes various other UI programmatic changes, including – other a gradual increase of the maximum weekly benefit rates and elimination of the one-week waiting period.

Department of Corrections

  • Includes $2.8 million GPR for food costs associated with adult and juvenile correctional facilities and $19.7 million GPR for adult and juvenile variable non-food health services over the biennium.
  • Reduces of $5.8 million GPR in FY22 and $7.1 million GPR in FY 23 to fully fund contract beds for adult clients.

 Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

  • Maintains current funding levels for programs.

Department of Safety and Professional Services

  • Funds $5 million for licensing and customer portal modernization.

University of Wisconsin System

  • Requests $95.7 million biennially to fund a variety of functions, including Bucky’s Promise expansion, funding for student loan forgiveness programs.

Department of Administration

  • Requests $11.6 million GPR increase in the second year of the biennium to adjust the annual appropriation bond authority to the amount required for the State of Wisconsin General Fund Appropriation (Tobacco) Bonds debt service.
  • Reduces GPR by $253.3 million to adjust the annual appropriation bond authority to the amount required for State of Wisconsin General Fund Annual Appropriation (Pension Obligations) Bonds debt service.

The following agencies submitted a partial request that will be updated in November:

Department of Transportation

Department of Public Instruction

  • Requests $1 million GPR over the biennium to expand the type of mental health trainings.
  • Re-estimates contracts for standardized pupil assessments, generating a decrease of $4 million over the biennium.
  • Requests increase of $6.5 million in segregated funding for the public library systems.