Gov On How $250M Borrowing Cut Will Affect State Buildings


After Republicans in the state legislature reduced borrowing in Gov. Scott Walker’s capital budget by $250 million, Walker has started talking about how the cut will affect state building projects.

The GOP-led Joint Finance Committee voted some weeks ago to reduce the capital borrowing authority to $887.6 million, down from the $1.14 billion in Walker’s budget request. Committee members said they were worried the state would borrow too much money.

The governor called a news conference yesterday to emphasize that the state will go ahead with two agriculture-related building projects at the UW-Madison. Walker also says he and other state officials are working on ways to shrink the list of other new buildings. “In the past, I’ve been inclined not to do across the board cuts – I don’t think they’re the most surgical, or most effective. We’ll look at projects in terms of priority, not only to agencies but to overall state operations.”

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A Democrat on the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, Racine Rep. Cory Mason, says the Republican governor didn’t have to accept the legislature’s trimming. “The governor can’t have it both ways: the governor did sign the budget into law. It’s his budget, too.”

Mason say if Walker goes ahead with the capital budget reduction, job seekers may suffer. “Whether it’s somebody waiting to get into a welding class at a technical college, or someone trying to get into veterinary science for expanding a big dairy in the state of Wisconsin, they’re both getting the same message, which is that Wisconsin isn’t taking those investments as seriously as the surrounding states.”

Mason and Walker do seem to agree that if an industrial sector wants a new state building for things like training or research, more financial partnerships with taxpayers may be in store.