On September 15, Wisconsin state government agencies submitted requests for the next state budget to Gov. Tony Evers (D) and the Department of Administration (DOA). The state budgets on a two-year (biennial) basis, with fiscal years beginning July 1 and ending June 30. The 2023-2025 state budget will cover a two-year period from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2025. The previous budget was enacted July 8, 2021.
For the remainder of the year, DOA staff will work to develop a budget based on Gov. Evers’ instructions and agency requests. Following the election on November 8, the winner of the gubernatorial race will discuss his priorities with DOA and present an executive budget to the Wisconsin Legislature for its consideration early next year.
Notable budget requests from state government agencies are described below:
- Expands Medicaid coverage from 100% to 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL) for parents and caretakers and childless adults, drawing down $2.3 billion over the biennium in additional federal matching funds and reducing the state’s revenue share by $1.55 billion over the biennium.
- Requests an increase of $533 million over the biennium to fund the Medicaid cost-to-continue. Expenditure levels are projected to be above the base Medicaid budget, largely driven by increased enrollment in Medicaid programs. This estimate includes an assumption that most managed acute care programs will experience a 2% increase and managed long-term care programs will experience a 3% increase in each calendar year 2024 and 2025.
- Requests shifting general purpose revenue to Medicaid after the one-time transfer to the Medicaid Trust Fund included in the previous budget. This includes $527 million in both years of the biennium.
- Requests increased funding of $11 million over the biennium based on a re-estimate of costs for outpatient competency examinations, conditional and supervised release, and treatment to competency programs.
- Proposes spending an additional $7.2 million over the biennium for Foodshare vendor contracts.
- Requests an increase of $92 million over the biennium to fund costs associated with the ARPA general rate increase of five percent for Medicaid home- and community-based services (HCBS) that began on January 1, 2022.
- Proposes legalizing the sale of marijuana for recreational use and creating a medical marijuana registry program. Recommends issuing permits to retailers and imposing a 15 percent wholesale excise tax and a 10 percent retail excise tax on marijuana sales.
- Recommends adopting the federal tax treatment of discharged student loans. Currently in Wisconsin, the amount of a student loan forgiven by the federal government is considered taxable income.
Department of Safety and Professional Services
- Requests a total of more than $6 million over the biennium “to support the ongoing technological infrastructure of the Department.”
- Requests a total of $4 million over the biennium to fund 30 additional staff positions “to allow the department to meet the public demand for licensed occupations” and “to ensure efficient and effective processing of license applications.”
- Requests a total of $4 million over the biennium to fund 25 additional staff positions “to provide scheduled plan review services on a limited basis,” to “provide one week review for small and simple plans,” and “to allow the department to provide plan review in four weeks.”
- Requests $1.7 million over the biennium to fund 10 additional staff positions “to ensure that existing and newly created boards can receive the policy, legal and administrative services necessary to manage their professions as directed by statute.”
- Requests $515,200 over the biennium “to maximize access and utilization of the most advanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP or ePDMP) tools by all providers throughout Wisconsin.”
Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
- Re-estimates the cost of the Wisconsin Healthcare Stability Plan by an additional $30 million each year of the biennium.
- Requests a change in expenditure authority of $148,700 over the biennium to fully fund the Board on Aging and Long-Term Care Medigap Helpline.