A Tale of Two States
In my perusing of the interwebs today I came across two stories that seem connected.
First there’s the “unexpected” error that adds an additional $1.8Billion deficit to California’s state budget:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration miscalculated costs for the state Medi-Cal program by $1.9 billion last year, an oversight that contributed to Brown’s projection of a deficit in the upcoming budget, officials acknowledged this week.
The administration discovered accounting mistakes last fall, but it did not notify lawmakers until the administration included adjustments to make up for the errors in Brown’s budget proposal last week. The Democratic governor called for more than $3 billion in cuts because of a projected deficit he pegged at $1.6 billion.
“There’s no other way to describe this other than a straight up error in accounting, which we deeply regret,” said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the Department of Finance.
On the other hand in Wisconsin things are less dire:
Wisconsin’s biennial budget picture got $714 million brighter Wednesday, with a projected deficit turning into a small surplus, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
Fiscal bureau director Bob Lang reported tax revenues are expected to be $455 million higher than what the Department of Administration projected in November. Also, spending in the current fiscal year that ends June 30 is expected to be $226 million lower — largely due to lower-than-expected Medicaid enrollment — and other revenues are expected to be $33 million higher.
That turns what was thought to be a $693 million deficit for the upcoming budget into a $21 million surplus, including all departmental budget requests.
You are invited to guess which party is dominant in California and Wisconsin. Really. Just take a chance. I mean you have a 50:50 chance of getting each one wrong.
The Shadow of the Olive Tree