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Gov. Walker Asks Lawmakers to Work on Current Budget First

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MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker says Wisconsin’s financial condition is so bad, he’ll ask lawmakers to fix the current state budget before tackling the next one.

Walker refused to say Monday how big the deficit in the current budget might be. But the Republican governor says he’ll work out a plan to fix it before he delivers the annual State of the State address on February 1st.

Former Governor Jim Doyle’s people projected a surplus of $67 million in the current two-year budget that ends June 30th. But there are a number of recent items which could push the budget into a big hole.

Walker’s transition team said the Medicaid, corrections, and public defender’s budgets had combined overspending of $223 million as of late December. The state remains under a court order to pay back $200 million to a fund that pays victims of medical malpractice.

A legislative audit last week said the Doyle administration overestimated financial reserves by $45 million. And Minnesota’s governor is demanding a $58 million payment due to the end of income tax reciprocity between the Badger and Gopher states.

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