Gov. Scott Walker’s administration is projecting a $2.2 billion deficit heading into the 2015-17 budget cycle.
That’s a sizable hole for Walker, who is contemplating a 2016 presidential run, to climb out of as he crafts his budget proposal due out early next year. Achieving a balanced budget will require scaling back program requests, especially if he wants to cut taxes further.
The deficit reflects how much departmental budget requests exceed projected revenues. It is included in a summary of biennial budget requests provided by the Department of Administration to Walker as he prepares an executive biennial budget for release in early 2015.
State agencies have asked to spend $37.2 billion in 2015-16, or 6.1 percent more than the current year, and $38.4 billion in 2016-17, or a 3.3 percent increase over the first year of the biennium.