scott-walkerMADISON - Based on new estimates released Friday by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the State of Wisconsin faces a $283 million budget shortfall by the end of June, and a two-year deficit that could be as large as $2.2 billion.

Co-chairs of the Legislature's budget committee also issued today a joint statement attributing the current budget woes to the $2 billion in tax cuts passed during Governor Scott Walker's first term, which they supported.

Democrats have criticized Walker and Republicans on their management of the budget, and today's numbers support their claims. The governor and GOP lawmakers have said it was right to return the money to taxpayers when the state was running a surplus. The state now has a $283 million revenue shortfall.

The budget numbers also pose a problem for Walker as he begins his second term and positions himself for a potential 2016 presidential bid. Walker claims he balanced a similar budget shortfall four years ago when he speaks to conservatives around the country, and now he faces roughly the same large deficit as when he started.

dave_hansenAccording to a statement issued today by Green Bay area Senator Dave Hansen: “Today we received more news confirming what we’ve known all along. Under Governor Walker and the Republican leadership our state is mired in a budget crisis thanks in large part to spending by the GOP to provide tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations."

"Instead of investing in those things that would bring in more revenue by creating jobs and boosting stagnant wages, the governor and Republicans have turned their backs on everyday Wisconsinites choosing instead to enact policies that have only made the problem worse", Hansen said.

He concludes, "The governor’s presidential ambitions serve only to suggest that these issues will go largely ignored as he devotes more of his time to his campaign in other states rather than taking the steps necessary to improve the lives of Wisconsin residents. As a result the state’s budget crisis continues with a $283 million shortfall and a $2.2 billion budget deficit.”