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With the campaign over, the next governor faces the challenge of fulfilling campaign promises while balancing the 2019-21 budget. It may not be easy. Over the next two years, the state would need more than $2 billion in additional revenue to cover projected cost increases in Medicaid, provide the same boost in K-12 school aids as in the current budget, and give 1% increases to other programs.
With the economy growing and unemployment low, the recent gubernatorial campaigns brought promises to expand school funding and other programs and cut taxes in the next state budget. How sustainable are those promises over the next two years? What effect could funding them have on other priorities within the state’s general fund, or main account, such as public safety, the University of Wisconsin System, and holding down taxes?
To examine these questions, the Wisconsin Policy Forum considered a potential increase in state funding for schools, the expected cost of new laws taking effect in the next budget, and the projected expense of maintaining current services within...