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Statement By A.G. Van Hollen On Non-Partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau Summary Of JFC Budget Actions

 

JFC reduces DOJ budget by 8.2% off Governor's Proposal; reduces all state GPR by only 2.1%

 

MANITOWOC - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen released the following statement today in response to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau's summary of the budget as passed by the Joint Finance Committee:

 

The nonpartisan legislative fiscal bureau analysis makes clear the point I've been making over the past week: the Joint Finance Committee headed up by two Madison-area legislators treated the Department of Justice the state's preeminent public safety agency differently than other public safety agencies. 

 

In fact, as a percentage, the Joint Finance Committee's changes to the Governor's proposed budget for DOJ include greater cuts to its activities funded by general tax revenue as compared to all other mid-sized and large state agencies.

 

I think public safety is the first priority of government.  It makes no sense to cut priority areas more than other areas or to single out the Department of Justice for excessive cuts.  But that's what they did.  Thankfully, the Legislature still has an opportunity to put the public and public safety above partisan politics.

 

***End of Statement***

 

A copy of the Legislative Fiscal Bureau's analysis.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF LFB ANALYSIS

 

The Department of Justice's GPR appropriations were cut 8.2% by the Joint Finance Committee as compared to the Governor's proposed budget.  Excluding small boards and commissions, this is the greatest percentage of GPR cuts on all state agencies.[1] Put in context, the Joint Finance Committee cut 2.1% from the Governor's budget proposal for all state GPR appropriations. 

 

The Department's GPR base is reduced by 8.3% as compared with 2008-2009 doubled.  Statewide reductions are 3.2%.  

The Department of Justice's "all funds" budget is decreasing while state spending is increasing by 6.3%. 

 

According to the Department of Justice, the true impact of the "all funds" cut is much greater than the spreadsheets indicate for a number of reasons, including:

 

JFC's unprecedented decision to require DOJ to transfer existing $1,000,000 in existing appropriations to other state agencies for pay raises to other state agency employees appears in the Legislative Fiscal Bureau's papers as an increase to DOJ's base.  These funds are not offset by new revenue and they are not accounted for in the LFB papers by a corresponding reduction to other appropriations.  An LFB analyst informed DOJ that new expenditure authority had to be included in the papers (and corresponding spreadsheets) because the there was a new requirement to expend funds.  So while DOJ will be cut by $1 million in operational funds due to this transfer, the all funds spreadsheets show this cut as $1 million increase.

 

LFB's spreadsheets will not include any amounts that will be lapsed by the Secretary of Administration.  When the budget was proposed, DOA informed DOJ to expect $1,000,000 annually in lapses.

 

Funding for the Wisconsin Statewide Information Center is shown as a $1.01 million PR increase over the biennium.  These funds will come from federal dollars, just as they have in prior years.  While WSIC has been operating since before Van Hollen took office, these funds appear for the first time as part of DOJ's base.  That said, there is no new spending for this program.

 

No federal stimulus dollars have been approved to backfill cuts.