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Statement of Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk at the Press Conference of Local Officials on the Governor's Proposed Budget Repair Bill

For more information contact:

Sharyn Wisniewski, 267-8823

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1/25/2002

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
STATEMENT OF DANE COUNTY EXECUTIVE KATHLEEN FALK
AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE OF LOCAL OFFICIALS ON THE
GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED BUDGET REPAIR BILL

Friday, January 25, 2002, 12:00 noon


We’re here to tell the truth about Governor McCallum’s proposed budget repair bill for Dane County residents. His elimination or drastic reduction of promised funding means important programs and services will be cut.

Here’s why:

1. Despite his public statements, for much of Dane County, the Governor is not phasing out shared revenue over three years. He is eliminating it immediately -- in 31 towns, 4 villages, 5 cities, and Dane County itself. This elimination totals over $9.5 million this year. Another 9 local governments had their committed funding cut by over 50%, totaling another $10.5 million this year. That’s a lot of money that has already been committed in all of our 2002 budgets.

2. There are not many places to cut in our budgets. In Dane County, for example, the dollars we receive as federal and state grants, or those generated by operations like the Airport or the Alliant Energy Center, cannot be spent on general county services like road repair. Legally, we have no choice but to pay debt services as scheduled. We have already signed contracts with our providers of human services.

3. So, to deal with the Governor’s cut, we will have to cut services, reduce programs and personnel, and delay projects. At the county level, to deal with a $5.5 million cut, everything -- roads, human services, law enforcement, will have to be on the table.

None of us can say specifically what will be cut until we hear from our citizens and work with our Boards and Councils. More importantly, we will work together to keep these cuts, these broken commitments, from happening. All of us put together and live with tight budgets. We are good neighbors and partners and are willing to work with the state and one another to hold costs down. But the Governor should know that breaking promises and misrepresenting his proposal is no way to create that partnership.

# # #

Attachment:


Date: January 24, 2002

To: Kathleen Falk
County Executive

From: Bonnie Hammersley
Acting Director of Administration

Subject: Elimination of Shared Revenue


The Governor’s Budget Reform Bill eliminates Dane County’s entire shared revenue payment for 2002. This payment was expected to be approximately $5.5 million.

The shared revenue payment is part of the funds that the County can use for general purposes. Other revenue included in this category is property tax, sales tax, investment earnings, and miscellaneous fees. In 2002, approximately $140 million is budgeted as general purpose revenue.

This general purpose revenue is applied in several funds at different levels depending on the amount of other revenue collected by the department. The following table shows the impact of this reduction by expenditure category. The impact is the percentage that a $5.5 million reduction would represent in each category.

CATEGORY 2002 GPR BUDGET IMPACT
% Reduction in GPR caused by a $5.5 million cut
Personnel Services $52,621,457 10%
Operating Expenditures $10,899,744 50%
Contractual Services $66,855,082 8%
Operating Capital $1,440,283 382%
Debt Service $ 8,683,433 63%

General purpose revenue in each of the expense categories would be particularly difficult to reduce mid-year. For example,

 General Fund debt service is entirely funded with general purpose revenue. Debt service payments are mandatory.

 Operating expenses pay for regular cost of operating county government many of, which are required to keep the doors open and to provide services. Examples of these expenses are paying utilities, office supplies, fuel, data processing equipment, postage and meals for inmates.

 Contractual services pay for purchased of service agreements. Dane County contracts for these services do include a non-appropriation clause; however, all contracts for 2002 have been signed and many provide State mandated services.

 Operating capital expenses are used to purchase replacement equipment. For example, squad cars, highway trucks, and equipment for Badger Prairie Health Care Center are operating capital expenditures budgeted in the 2002 Budget. Many of these operating capital purchases are required to provide safe and reliable equipment for use by employees.

 Finally, general purpose revenue reductions to the personnel services category would likely result in layoffs. These layoffs would impair departments’ ability to continue to provide the same level of service.

General purpose reductions in any of these categories would be particularly difficult given the $3.6 million in cuts that we made in the 2002 Budget. The across the board reductions combined with the 60% conference, training, and travel reduction included in the 2002 Budget leaves departments with significantly less discretionary spending flexibility. Without this flexibility, departments will not be able to absorb additional reductions without impacting the services they deliver.

If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you.
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