Rep. Hintz presses DOA Secretary on Budget, “Scoop and Toss” Delay of Debt Payments
"Gov. Walker’s bad budgeting has created a $2.2 billion shortfall and the resulting crisis budget..."
MADISON – On the first day of the Joint Finance Committee’s state agency briefings on Governor Walker’s 2015-17 budget, Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) pressed Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch about the Governor’s decision to put off payment of $108 million in bonds that had been scheduled to be retired in May.
Rep. Hintz asked Sec. Huebsch how much more Wisconsin taxpayers will be required to pay based on the decision to delay paying bills. Sec. Huebsch did not answer Rep. Hintz’s questions directly. According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the Governor faces a $283 million shortfall in the current fiscal year, which the DOA has indicated they will partially close by delaying the debt payments.
LFB has confirmed that the move to put off paying the debt means the state will pay $1.1 million in interest in the 2015-17 budget while paying down $18.2 million principal. That leaves the remaining $89.8 million to pay off in future years with additional interest payments.
“It is unacceptable that Sec. Huebsch was not able to answer my question about how much this ‘scoop and toss’ budgeting trick will cost taxpayers in the future,” Rep. Hintz said. “Gov. Walker’s shortsighted approach to tax cuts is now resulting in additional debt and interest costs down the road, and taxpayers deserve to know how much that true cost is.”
“Gov. Walker’s bad budgeting has created a $2.2 billion shortfall and the resulting crisis budget, which makes historic cuts to education, conservation, and other popular programs such as SeniorCare. Yet Sec. Huebsch made clear today that the Walker administration has learned nothing from the failed policies of the last four years. As we continue to debate the budget, I look forward to continuing to discuss these issues and hope to leave this budget in better shape than the way it was given to us.”
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Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following statement following the adjournment of the 2015-2017 Assembly Session: