UPDATE: Democratic leader blasts Governor over budget - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Democratic leader blasts Governor over budget

Posted:
MADISON (AP) -

The Democratic leader of the Wisconsin state Assembly says a new projection showing Wisconsin faces a $143 million budget shortfall illustrates irresponsible action by Gov. Scot Walker.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca issued the statement Thursday in reaction to the new estimates from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Barca says Walker's policies have left Wisconsin fiscally unsound and caused the state to fall behind on the road to economic recovery.

Barca says Walker's economic plan isn't working.

Walker views the new figures differently, saying he believes the state is headed in the right direction after Republicans made tough budget choices last year to balance a $3.6 billion shortfall.

Barca is considering running against Walker in a recall election.

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Gov. Scott Walker says no emergency budget repair bill will be needed to deal with a projected $143 million shortfall.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released the new estimate Thursday. As recently as October the state was projected to have a $73 million surplus.

Walker didn't detail what he would do to deal with the projected shortfall next year, other than promising not to raise taxes.

The Fiscal Bureau says the Walker administration is looking at debt refinancing and restructuring to deal with the shortfall.

Republican legislative leaders issued a joint statement saying Wisconsin is not immune to the bad economy and defended their past actions and promises not to raise taxes.

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Wisconsin's state budget condition has worsened to the point that Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature will need to take emergency steps to avoid being out of balance before the end of June.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau on Thursday released the new projections that show the budget will be $143 million short of balancing at the end of the two-year period.

Fiscal Bureau Director Bob Lang says in the memo to co-chairs of the Legislature's budget committee that the Walker administration is looking to address the problem through debt refinancing and restructuring.

At the time of the last estimate in October, the state's budget was projected to end with a positive $73 million balance.

A large reason for the change is a projected $273 million loss in tax collections.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APNP-02-09-12 1101CST

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