(MADISON) Governor Walker’s administration intends to close part of its $283 million budget shortfall in the current fiscal year by delaying a payment of $108 million in debt, that was due to be paid off in May. A recently released memorandum from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau indicates that move will cost taxpayers $544,900 in interest in 2015-16 and $18,746,900 in interest and principal in 2016-17. Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) blasted Governor Walker and his administration for their inaction to address the impending financial emergency.
“The Governor’s fiscally irresponsible decision to punt on paying bills will incur additional costs to taxpayers,” Taylor commented. “What the Governor is doing is the equivalent of attempting to pay a balance on one credit card by taking out a new one. These types of reckless budget decisions are what created the Walker deficit in the first place, and the people of Wisconsin are being handed the bill for damages.”
“The decision, to delay payments on debt, will create larger budget holes for Wisconsin taxpayers,” Taylor continued. “Instead of using budget gimmicks that play into Walker’s presidential aspirations, we should be focused on long term goals. We have a responsibility to ensure a quality education for every child in our state, protect the health and wellbeing of seniors, and build our economy through better paying, quality jobs, to assist Wisconsin families in making ends meet.”
While the Walker deficit is more than three times the amount needed to trigger a budget repair bill by the Legislature, Secretary Huebsch of the Department of Administration has refused to take action. A copy of the LFB memo can be found here.