The Evers administration announced some okay news for the state’s fiscal situation. The state Department of Administration released updated estimates projecting the state will finish the current 2019-21 biennium with a gross balance of $1.2 billion.
DOA also projects the state will take in $1.35 billion in new revenue over the course of the 2021-23 biennium. However, even with the ending surplus and projected revenue increase if every agency’s 2021-23 budget request was to be approved, the state would have a $1.2 billion deficit at the end of the 2021-23 biennium.
Historically, it is very unlikely that every state agency will receive funding for their budget requests. The DOA Secretary notes the two main drivers included in the agency budget requests: $1.6 billion in new GPR requested by the Department of Public Instruction and $597 million for cost-to-continue for the Medicaid program. The cost-to-continue Medicaid funding requested by the Department of Health Services (DHS) assumes the state expands Medicaid under the ACA. If Medicaid expansion does not occur, the cost-to-continue number increases by another $588 million.