Wisconsin budget forecast improves by $138 million

January 18, 208

MADISON Wisconsin's state budget is now projected to end with $138 million more than previously thought when it cleared the Legislature last year.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau on Wednesday said the current two-year budget that ends on June 30, 2019, will end with a $385 million balance.

Republican co-chairs of the Legislature's budget committee Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. John Nygren heralded the news. They say it shows "common sense reforms and prudent fiscal budgeting have put us on great fiscal standing."

The Fiscal Bureau says the higher forecast was largely the result of $76 million more in estimated tax collections, a nearly $98 million drop in spending caused mostly by re-estimates of debt payments and a $38 million fund transfer

Wisconsin's main investment fund grew 16 percent in 2017

MADISON The primary investment fund for most Wisconsin public employees and retirees grew more than 16 percent last year, roughly double its performance in 2016.

The State of Wisconsin Investment Board reported Wednesday that based on preliminary numbers the $100 billion "Core Fund" grew 16.2 percent for the year. The five-year return is 8.6 percent.

Both are above the performance benchmarks.

About 622,000 state employees invest in the "Core Fund."

Payments to the roughly 198,000 retirees and beneficiaries drawing from the fund are leveled out over a five-year period to avoid large jumps in annuity payments or contribution rates.

The more volatile "Variable Fund," which is less diverse than the "Core Fund" and comprised entirely of stocks, gained 23.2 percent in 2017. Its five-year return is 13.3 percent.

Annuity payment rates are set in March.


Associated Press