State revenues are projected to fall $1.1 billion short of what state agencies have requested for the 2019-21 budget, according to a report released Tuesday by Gov. Scott Walker's administration.
The report from the Wisconsin Department of Administration is the first document to take into account budget requests submitted in September. The projected shortfall assumes state agencies will receive everything they have requested, which is unlikely.
Requests from state agencies will be adjusted when Gov.-elect Tony Evers releases his budget proposal early next year, and further refined by the Legislature in the months that follow.
According to DOA Secretary Ellen Nowak, the projected imbalance falls in line with the average projected shortfall for the last four such reports from the agency.
Earlier this year, Walker instructed state agencies to assume they would receive no additional state funding in the 2019-21 budget, with exceptions for K-12 schools and some basic adjustments for programs like Medicaid.
Walker, a Republican, lost his bid for a third term to Evers, a Democrat, earlier this month. Evers has not issued any public directives to department heads.
"Agency requests were to focus on making Wisconsin one of the best states in America for millennials and retirees," Nowak wrote in her letter. "Requests were also to focus on increasing our workforce and making higher education more accessible and affordable. The Governor also asked that requests focus on reducing opioid and illegal drug addiction as well as to have a safe and reliable transportation system and increase families' take-home pay."
In his budget request, submitted in his role as Superintendent of Public Instruction, Evers proposed $1.5 billion in additional funds — a 10 percent bump — for the state's K-12 schools in the upcoming budget.
The DPI request accounts for a significant portion of overall general-purpose revenue requests; in total, state agencies have requested an additional $2.2 billion in the 2019-21 budget from the current one.
The state is expected to take in an additional $2.1 billion in new revenue over the course of the next three fiscal years, including the 2018-19 fiscal year.
Evers will be forced to work with a Republican-led Legislature to pass a spending plan next year.
The DOA report also notes that the state's general fund is projected to close with a $622.6 million balance at the end of the 2018-19 fiscal year, up $440.9 million more than previously expected. The state started the fiscal year with the second-largest general fund opening balance since 2000, according to the report.