WHEELERweek – Base Budgets

As published by The Wheeler Report – 02/09/2009…

Four Assembly Republicans to offer package of bills on budget

Four Assembly Republicans will release details Tuesday (at 11 a.m., Assembly Parlor) of a package of bills they say will bring more transparency to the state government budgeting and spending. Reps. Bill Kramer of Waukesha, Leah Vukmir of Wauwatosa, Rich Zipperer of Pewaukee and Brett Davis of Oregon will offer bills to:

  • Create a database/website of every state expenditure
  • Require ‘zero-based’ budgeting every 10 years by 2015
  • Require all Joint Finance Committee meetings to be available in real time on the Legislature’s website
  • Require all ‘earmark’ provisions of the budget to be disclosed.

Base Budgeting will be the only point addressed in this WHEELERweek…

A provision in the 2002 Special Session AB-1 Conference Committee report required State agency reports detailing expenditures for three prior fiscal years. Act 109 was enacted July 26, 2002.

In 2009 Governor Doyle proposed repealing the agency budget reporting provision as part of his 2009-11 budget (Act 28).  The Joint Finance Committee voted on an alternative to keep the reporting requirement in place, but the vote failed 3-12. Ultimately, the repeal proposed by Doyle was passed. The Wisconsin State Journal wrote an editorial on the repeal.

Rep. Vukmir introduced 2009 AB-127 dealing with agency zero-based budget requests.  The bill did not receive a public hearing.

Rep. Knudson proposed a motion in Joint Finance, as part of the 2015-17 budget (Act 55), which would have required state agencies to submit budget requests under three scenarios. Joint Finance adopted the motion 13-3, but Governor Walker vetoed the proposal. Walker in his veto message (Page 15, Item 32) said, “I am vetoing these sections in their entirety because I object to these restrictions on gubernatorial flexibility to establish budget instructions in a manner consistent with his or her fiscal and policy priorities.”

A bill introduced by Sen. Kapenga (SB-407) requires state agencies to submit budget proposal under two scenarios: reduction of their budget(s) by 5% and maintaining current funding levels. The bill was passed and enacted March 1, 2016 (Act 201).

And Today …

Sen. Craig and Rep. Hutton are currently circulating a cosponsorship draft (memo) which would require state agencies to prepare a base budget report every third biennium.

The bills have not been introduced yet, but circulation ended on June 20 and are awaiting introduction and referral by the Senate President and the Assembly Speaker.