(State Capitol, Madison) . . . State Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) lauded this week’s announcement that $1 billion in savings have been realized since the enactment of budget reforms last year.
“Local governments and the state budget are seeing the positive results from our efforts to reform government and begin bringing spending in line with what taxpayers can afford,” said Harsdorf. “The efforts to restore fiscal sanity to Wisconsin are showing to be successful, including the balancing of the state budget, a reduction in borrowing, and the payment of unpaid bills leftover from the prior administration and Legislature.”
Entering this legislative session, the State Legislature faced a number of challenges including an over $3 billion budget deficit, reductions in federal funding for medical assistance and other programs, and outstanding debts owed by the state, including the illegal raid of $200 million from the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund. Harsdorf cited the work by the State Legislature and Governor in balancing the budget, paying our state’s bills, and reducing borrowing that has resulted in an improved credit outlook for Wisconsin.
“The latest numbers on savings to state and local governments demonstrates the State Legislature’s commitment to limiting government spending and putting taxpayers first,” said Harsdorf. “Tough decisions were made to honestly balance the budget without accounting gimmicks or pushing debt off onto future generations.”
As part of the $1 billion in savings, school districts from across the state that reported competitively bidding out health insurance plans saved $220 per student per year on average. Tools provided to local governments are also allowing for greater flexibility and innovation in compensating employees and providing services.