WHEELERweek – History of Budget Bills

Statistics from a review of state budgets passed 1931 to the present

Legislative Reference Bureau published a Wisconsin Briefs report on executive budget bills in July 2012.  Following are some selected facts from that report, updated to include the most recent budgets:

Budget Bills Reported out of Joint Finance

  • The earliest a budget bill has been reported out of the Joint Finance Committee was February 19, 1941. 1953 was the only other year a budget has been out of Joint Finance in February.
Session Beginning Reported from JFC
1941 2/19
1953 2/24
1931 3/04
1945 3/16
1943 3/18
1937 3/23
1933 3/24
1951 4/04
1939 4/14
1955 4/14
  • The latest a budget bill has been reported out of Joint Finance was in October of 1971. Joint Finance completed the 2017 and 1997 budgets in September of their respective years.
Session Beginning Reported from JFC
1971 10/08
2017 9/11
1997 9/04
2015 7/06
1965 6/29
1993 6/29
1991 6/25
1999 6/25
2007 6/20
1963 6/18

Budget Bills Published (took effect)

  • The earliest a budget bill has been published was also in 1941.
Session Beginning Reported from JFC Conference Committee Published
1941 2/19 No 4/18
1931 3/04 Yes 4/27
1943 3/18 No 5/15
1933 3/24 No 5/22
1937 3/23 No 5/29
1939 4/14 No 6/10
1951 4/04 No 6/12
1945 3/16 No 6/12
1953 2/24 No 6/13
1967 4/28 No 6/24
  • The latest a budget bill was published was also in 1971, which also included a conference committee that failed to reach an agreement. Conference committees have been used in 8 of the 10 latest budgets, with the exceptions of 1997 and 2017.
Session Beginning Reported from JFC Conference Committee Published
1971 10/08 Yes 11/04
1999 6/25 Yes 10/29
2007 6/20 Yes 10/26
1997 9/04 No 10/13
1935 4/25 Yes 9/30
2017 9/11 No 9/22
2001 6/18 Yes 8/31
1969 5/20 Yes 8/30
1991 6/25 Yes 8/14
1993 6/29 Yes 8/11

Other Notes:

  • Budget Adjustment/Budget Review bills were not included
  • 1953 Act 251 originally added the language that allows existing funding to remain in effect if a budget is not passed by July 1 in odd-numbered years.
  • In 1995 the transportation budget was separate from the biennial budget. It was reported out of Joint Finance October 3 and published December 20th.

Complete Table:

Session Beginning Reported from JFC Conference Committee Published
2017 9/11 No 9/22
2015 7/06 No 7/13
2013 6/14 No 7/01
2011 6/13 No 6/30
2009 6/08 Yes 6/29
2007 6/20 Yes 10/26
2005 6/17 No 7/26
2003 6/16 No 7/25
2001 6/18 Yes 8/31
1999 6/25 Yes 10/29
1997 9/04 No 10/13
1995 6/15 No 7/28
1993 6/29 Yes 8/11
1991 6/25 Yes 8/14
1989 6/14 Yes 8/08
1987 6/11 No 7/31
1985 6/06 No 7/17
1983 5/26 No 7/01
1981 6/02 No 6/30
1979 5/22 No 7/28
1977 5/10 No 6/29
1975 5/06 Yes 7/30
1973 5/01 Yes 8/04
1971 10/08 Yes 11/04
1969 5/20 Yes 8/30
1967 4/28 No 6/24
1965 6/29 No 7/30
1963 6/18 No 8/10
1961 4/27 No 6/30
1959 4/16 Yes 6/30
1957 5/02 Yes 6/29
1955 4/14 No 6/27
1953 2/24 No 6/13
1951 4/04 No 6/12
1949 5/03 No 6/29
1947 5/28 No 6/30
1945 3/16 No 6/12
1943 3/18 No 5/15
1941 2/19 No 4/18
1939 4/14 No 6/10
1937 3/23 No 5/29
1935 4/25 Yes 9/30
1933 3/24 No 5/22
1931 3/04 Yes 4/27