Author: Andrew Engel - WISCA Lobbyist (Hamilton Consulting)
Gov. Evers gave his third biennial budget address on February 15, unveiling his 2023-25 executive budget. He proposes an operating budget of $103.8 billion over the next two fiscal years. For comparison, the 2021-23 state budget spent $87.5 billion.
The complete budget bill, budget in brief, and other executive budget documents are available here. The governor has also published his prepared remarks and a recording of his address, as well as selected excerpts.
For an overview of the provisions in Gov. Evers’ budget, separated by issue area follow Hamilton Consulting’s 2023-25 State Budget page.
A couple items of note for ASCs, the Governor’s budget did include a full repeal of the personal property tax. A provision we believe will result in savings for many ASC’s should the legislature approve the change.
Additionally, the Governor included additional spending and position authority for the Department of Safety and Professional Services’ (DSPS) in an effort to improve the processing time of occupational license applications.
By law, Gov. Evers’ budget will be introduced as a bill in the Wisconsin Legislature. The Joint Committee on Finance (usually Joint Finance Committee, JFC) will spend several months reviewing and altering the proposal. Based on past experience, we expect the following to happen:
Lastly, republican legislative leaders were very critical of Governor Evers’ budget and have stated numerous times they intend to build the Legislature’s version of the budget from “base” instead of using the Governor’s budget proposal. Most of Gov. Evers’ budget recommendations will be stripped or modified. Joint Finance Committee co-chairs Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) and Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) said the Joint Committee on Finance will work off spending levels in current law rather than Gov. Evers' proposal as they build the Legislature’s version of the 2023-25 budget. They also said they will remove Gov. Evers’ policy provisions from the budget.
- The Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) will release a plain-language summary of the budget recommendations in about a month, that is, by the middle of March.
- JFC will hold agency briefings and conduct public hearings on the budget recommendations.
- The co-chairs of JFC will identify non-fiscal policy items and slate them for removal from the budget bill, which should occur roughly by the middle of April.
- JFC will vote, agency by agency, on changes to the budget.
- By June, the full budget should be available for debate and passage by both houses of the Legislature.