Madison — The expected shortfall for the next two-year state budget starting in July has risen to nearly $1.8 billion, or about half of what it was when Gov. Scott Walker took office in January 2011.
Meanwhile, the state’s projected gap in its current budget ending June has risen to $396 million — or about 1.2% of the spending planned for the 2013-’15 budget.
The Republican governor resolved a more than $3 billion budget shortfall in the months after taking office, but the latest projections show the state is running through the resulting surplus. The state is again facing a gap in the 2015-’17 budget because of tax cuts enacted by Walker and lawmakers and lagging growth in other state taxes in recent months.
Burke, a former Trek Bicycle executive, seized on the new projections.
“Governor Walker’s fiscally irresponsible approach and his failed stewardship of a lagging economy have resulted in a state budget picture that is a mess,” she said in a statement. “I have spent my career balancing budgets and insisting on accountability; setting priorities and getting the biggest bang for the buck. Gov. Walker has spent money we don’t have. In the business world, if a CEO created this big of a financial mess, he would be fired.”