Friday, October 12, 2012

Governor has released budget priorities

The following two notes are fully re-posted from the E-update From the Desk of Governor Scott Walker

2013-15 State Budget Update

The State of Wisconsin operates on biennial state budgets with each fiscal year running from July 1st to June 30th. We are currently operating under “Fiscal Year 2013” (FY2013) and will be until June 30, 2013.

I recently received budget requests from each state agency, which outline the money each agency would like to spend in the future. Over the next few months, I will be carefully reviewing each of these agency budget requests. These requests are just the first step in the budget process—I will eventually propose a complete budget early next year for consideration by the Legislature.

The 2011-13 budget I signed into law last year made long-term reforms balancing a $3.6 billion budget deficit without raising taxes, without massive public employee layoffs, and without government service reductions. Wisconsin has a projected budget surplus in FY2013. If the FY2013 projections are correct, we will deposit money into the state’s rainy day fund in two consecutive years for the first time in our state’s history. Unlike other states, instead of burying the next generation under a mountain of economically crippling debt, we are making responsible decisions—leaving our children and grandchildren with funding reserves for future hard economic times.

The next state budget I plan to introduce early next year will focus on five main priorities:

1. Creating Jobs
2. Transforming Education
3. Developing Our Workforce
4. Investing in Infrastructure
5. Reforming Government

As I work on the next state budget, I am excited about Wisconsin’s future and the opportunities we have to grow private sector jobs in our great state.

Lowering the Flag

Private First Class Arthur W. Hopfensperger was killed in action on November 28, 1950, at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. U.S. forces were involved in heavy combat and were unable to retrieve Private First Class Hopfensperger’s remains. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command was finally able to recover his remains during a 2002-2005 excavation.

Second Lieutenant James A. Des Jardins was killed in action on November 25, 1944, after his plane was shot down in World War II during a bombing and strafing run of a railroad station in southwestern Germany. Second Lieutenant Des Jardins’ plane was not recovered until June 2011, when it was discovered by German officials dredging a field. Both of these soldiers were identified using DNA samples provided by their families, and in September 2012, were officially accounted for by the United States military.

One way we honor military members who have given the ultimate sacrifice is by lowering the United States and Wisconsin State flags to half-staff. Federal and state laws require the flags to be lowered on specific occasions. Beyond these specific occasions, the United States Flag Code gives the President and governors the authority to lower the flag in certain situations, like when a Wisconsin soldier gives his or her life fighting for democracy and freedom abroad. Traditionally, the flag is lowered on the day of a fallen soldier’s funeral. This past week, I ordered the flag at half-staff as a mark of respect for Private First Class Arthur W. Hopfensperger and Second Lieutenant James A. Des Jardins.

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