Madison: The newly elected politicians in Wisconsin will have to come through on their promises of bipartisanship because a new report says the state is facing a $1.6 billion budget deficit over the next two years.
The projections show state tax revenues will increase over the next two years, but not enough so that we'll be looking at more budget cuts at the state level.
The $1.6 billion gap is the structural deficit and it's similar to the gap the state needed to fill two years ago.
In the last budget Governor Jim Doyle was criticized for balancing the budget by transferring large amounts of money from the transportation fund into the general fund. That balanced the budget then but the same hole is here again and Republicans say they don't want any more transfers.
Both sides say they won't raise taxes, so that only leaves budget cuts as a way to balance the budget.
"I'm confident that we're well in the range of what we'll do. Just as in the past I've balanced the budgets without raising taxes, we'll do it this time as well," says Gov. Doyle.
"I don't know if we're going to be in the mood this time for two things: raiding of funds and raising of fees. There's a lot of challenges ahead," says Rep. Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah), Co-Chair of the Joint Finance Committee.
Some new fees will be coming no matter what, the Department of Transportation has already asked to raise license and registration fees.
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