Governor Tony Evers today sent a letter to all state agency officials saying that their 2021-23 agency budget requests should assume there will be zero growth in overall general purpose revenue (GPR) appropriations each of the two years in the next biennial budget.
"As we know and feel each day, our lives have been upended in the past few months in ways we likely could not have imagined," he said in the letter. "The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered our way of life, directly and indirectly affecting the health and economic well-being of every Wisconsin resident. The pandemic's sudden and severe impact on our state revenues will require all of us to be more innovative and more efficient in our use of precious state resources and how we deliver services to those who need them in the days and months ahead."
"In addition, I am directing you to not seek any new positions, from any fund source, when you submit your budget requests on September 15, 2020 and to repurpose existing vacancies wherever it is feasible," Gov. Evers said. "While I am hopeful that our state and national economic situation will improve in the months ahead prior to submitting my budget early next year, we must take these critical and prudent steps now as we embark upon this process."
Exceptions to the zero-growth GPR spending policy will occur only for K-12 school aids; required basic cost-to-continue needs for the state's institutions, i.e., the Department of Corrections and the Department of Health Services institutions; entitlement and related assistance programs in the Department of Health Services (e.g., Medical Assistance), the Department of Children and Families' Division of Safety and Permanence, and the Department of Workforce Development's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation; and housekeeping adjustments like standard budget adjustments, fuel and utilities, and debt service.
Formal budget requests are due to the Wisconsin Department of Administration from state agencies by Tuesday, September 15, 2020.
The current biennium ends on June 30, 2021.
Click here to see the letter from Gov. Evers.
Click here to see the budget priorities memo.