UW System and Children’s Programs Hit Hard by Lapses Announced Today
This afternoon the Walker Administration announced its plans for lapsing $123 million to the General Fund. (I wonder why news like this so often comes out late on a Friday before a big holiday?) The biennial budget requires the Department of Administration to allocate $174 million of lapses, and today’s announcement covers just the first fiscal year – meaning that there will be at least $51 million in additional lapses sometime during the next 18 months.
The biggest hit is to the UW System, which has to give back $46 million. Several programs for children and youths are also absorbing substantial blows. The lapses include almost $18.6 million from federal bonus funding for children’s health care, $8.3 million from the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and about $4.7 million from juvenile corrections (primarily Youth Aids).
In a press release this afternoon, Rep. Peter Barca took issue with the UW System cuts: “Today’s budget cuts are again disproportionally targeted at one of the worst places to hit in a difficult economy: our Wisconsin public education system. …the UW System is losing millions more on top of a previous $250 million cut and will likely have to cut economic development programs, classes and much more.”
According to today’s letter from DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch, “specific education exemptions were granted to school aids, higher educational financial aid and technical college aids.” In addition, there are exemptions for Medical Assistance – except for the CHIPRA bonus funding – and other direct care programs at DHS, and child welfare and certain TANF programs at DCF.
The plan also exempts “certain correctional programs and other institutions that operate 24/7.” Our post on the WCCF blog includes a response from Jim Moeser, WCCF’s deputy director, regarding the lopsided portion of the corrections system cuts borne by community based programs and county juvenile justice funding.
The Joint Finance Committee has until January 18 to review the plan.