DOYLE PLANNING ‘NO GROWTH’ BUDGET FOR 2009-11; MAY CUT BASE BY 10%.
State agencies have been told to assume “zero growth” in overall General Purpose Revenue appropriations in each year of the next biennium and to prepare plans “to absorb a ten percent permanent base cut.” The directions are included in a letter and major budget polices and budget instructions sent to all state agencies on Thursday. Agency budget requests are due in the State Budget Office by September 15.
“While much progress has been made, Wisconsin’s economy, like the rest of the nation, continues to encounter challenges,” Gov. Doyle said in a cover letter outlining budget priorities. “Expanding Wisconsin agricultural and manufacturing exports to countries all over the world and strong growth in important fields like biotechnology and renewable energies have been very important to the state’s economy. However, the recent flooding and downsizing of manufacturing jobs has put stress not only on the individuals involved but also highlighted the need for continued investments in worker training, health care, infrastructure and education.”
Doyle said exceptions to the “zero growth” policy will include K-12 school aids; required cost-to-continue needs for the state’s institutions (Dept of Corrections and DHFS institutions); entitlement and related assistance programs in DHFS (Medical Assistance); the Dept of Children and Families Division of Prevention and Permanence; Dept of Workforce Development Division of Vocational Rehabilitation; UW System instruction and research activities “that are focused on economic growth;” and, housekeeping adjustments like standard budget adjustments, fuel and utilities and debt service.
The “zero growth” policy will also apply to the SEG-funded administrative operations appropriations in all agencies supported by the Transportation Fund, Conservation Fund, Environmental Fund and Lottery Fund.
The instructions also noted Act 20 authorization for the DOA Secretary to lapse or transfer $200 million over the 2009-11 biennium to the General Fund. “Agencies should begin planning for these lapses as part of the budget development process,” the instructions said. “At a minimum, each agency should plan to lapse an amount similar to the amounts lapsed in the 2007-09 biennium.”
Further, under Act 20, the UW System and WI Technical College System are required to lapse $25 million and $1 million, respectively, over the 2009-11 biennium.
“Agencies with state operations administrative appropriations, including the administrative activities of the University of Wisconsin System, should prepare plans to absorb a ten percent permanent base cut,” the instructions said. The reduction is to be equal to 10% of all non-FED sum certain state operations administrative appropriations, excluding debt service and fuel and utilities, and “should be in addition to the lapse amounts required for the 2009-11 biennium under Act 20.” Reduced base budget plans are due Monday, November 17.
The directions note that where reductions and efficiencies in state operations will result in reductions in positions, “agencies should plan to accomplish this reduction without layoffs,” and any areas needing additional staff “must be met through base reallocations.”
Hmmm. When the Republicans suggest this, they get accused of cutting the funding for Wisconsin's children and elderly.
Just like Republicans, I guess that means Doyle doesn't care about the children or the elderly either.
I guess we will wait for the WEAC ads to come out condemning Governor Doyle.(yes, I am being sarcastic)