Wisconsin’s projected budget surplus grows to $6.6 billion

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s projected state budget surplus is now forecast to hit nearly $6.6 billion by July, up from earlier $5 billion estimates, according to a report released Monday from Gov. Tony Evers’ administration.

The Republican-controlled state Legislature and Evers, a Democrat reelected to a second term earlier this month, will be focused over the next several months on what to do with the money. Evers in August proposed spending $600 million of the surplus on tax cuts, including cutting income taxes for the middle class by 10%. Republicans summarily rejected the idea as a campaign ploy.

Evers will submit a two-year state spending plan in February. The Legislature will then rework the plan and pass it likely in June or July. Evers can make some changes through his partial veto power, but he signed nearly everything Republicans proposed into law in the past two budgets.

Monday’s report from Evers’ Department of Administration said the state is in the strongest fiscal condition in its history and called the projected surplus “remarkable.”

The report summarizes state agency budget requests for funding over the next two years. If all requests are approved, which never happens, the report said spending would increase 7.9% in the 2023-2024 budget year and another 2.5% the next year.