Burke Calls Walker "one-trick pony" due to $1.8 billion structural deficit
Madison, WI (WKOW) - -
Democrat Mary Burke is pouncing on the news that Wisconsin faces a $1.8 billion structural deficit, while Governor Scott Walker says that number is being blown out of proportion.
Gov. Walker, who has always run on a platform of fiscal responsibility, is now trying to defend his record.
The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau announced Monday that Wisconsin is projected to face that deficit at the end of next state budget cycle which runs from June of 2015 to June of 2017.
But Governor Walker says he is confident he can work with the legislature to cut expenses as needed, and still believes Wisconsin's economy will grow during that time. Final revenue numbers for fiscal year 2014 showed tax collections fell from where they were in 2013.
"What they're doing is projecting that out four years into the future, the two years of this budget and the next two years of the coming budget, assuming no changes," said Gov. Walker, who spoke to the media after campaign stop at UW-Milwaukee on Tuesday. "Assuming no changes in expenditures and no changes in revenue."
Walker pointed out that Wisconsin has had a surplus at the end of every budget year since he took office and he expects that to continue.
Holding her own Milwaukee news conference, Burke said the structural deficit is a result of Gov. Walker's poor planning.
"Scott Walker is a one-trick pony," said Burke. "He balanced his first budget, but then like a career politician, he put the special interests first, he spent money that we don't have and he made fiscally irresponsible decisions including turning down hundreds of millions of dollars of Medicaid."
Burke said that if elected governor, she would accept the federal expansion of Medicaid and then go through the current budget line-by-line to see what to cut for the next two years.
Gov. Walker said Burke is the last one who should talk about budget deficits, since she served in Gov. Jim Doyle's administration, which left Wisconsin with a $3.6 billion dollar budget deficit when he left office.
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