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The Wisconsin Statutes provide that the Legislative Fiscal Bureau shall: (1) be strictly nonpartisan; (2) provide the Legislature with such fiscal information as will assist the Legislature or legislative committees; (3) recommend alternatives to the Legislature concerning: (a) the state budget, and (b) the revenues and expenditures of the state; (4) provide fiscal and program analyses; (5) review existing and proposed programs and budgets; (6) evaluate requests for appropriations and make recommendations to the Joint Committee on Finance and the Legislature; and (7) at the direction of the Legislature or on the Bureau's own initiative, conduct other studies and perform other duties to the Legislature in dealing with the fiscal affairs of the state.

The Joint Committee on Legislative Organization is charged with setting overall policy for the Bureau. It has established certain specified functions which the Bureau is to perform. These functions are: (1) analyzing agency operating budget requests; (2) serving as the principal committee staff for the Joint Committee on Finance; (3) answering fiscal information requests from individual legislators; (4) evaluating legislative proposals for fiscal effects; (5) analyzing and evaluating state programs; (6) monitoring state agencies' budgets and programs; (7) analyzing agency capital budget requests; (8) estimating state revenues; (9) serving as fiscal staff to other legislative committees; and (10) providing fiscal information services for other legislative staff.


The Fiscal Bureau serves as the staff for the Joint Committee on Finance. The Bureau's analysts provide information on all bills considered by the Joint Committee on Finance and analyses of all agency requests for appropriation supplements and new position authorizations outside of the budget process. Further, various studies or budget follow-up reviews, mandated on the Committee by various budget provisions, require staff analyses. The Bureau also receives a variety of requests from legislators, legislative assistants, and staff for other committees for help in providing fiscal information. The services provided by fiscal analysts vary from advising staff persons as to the appropriate contact person in an administrative agency to providing detailed fiscal and program analyses. The Bureau is structured into broad, functional area teams composed of several fiscal analysts and headed by a program supervisor (team leader).