Press Release: Gov. Evers Announces Additional Cuts to State Spending Due to COVID-19

Office of Governor Tony Evers
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Gov. Evers Announces Additional Cuts to State Spending Due to COVID-19

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced he has directed the Department of Administration (DOA), under Secretary Joel Brennan, to work with state agencies to identify $250 million in cost savings for the current fiscal year (FY20-21).

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on our nation, state, communities, businesses, and families,” said Gov. Evers. “All state and local governments are now experiencing the difficult balance of providing vital services to residents in crisis while also managing tough fiscal realities. While I am still hopeful that the federal government will adopt further bipartisan proposals to stabilize funding for state and local services, in the face of continued inaction and uncertainty, the unfortunate reality is that we must take these steps and make more significant cuts.”

The governor’s proactive directive is an effort to ensure the state is in a stronger position to weather revenue impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, while also ensuring critical services remain accessible to Wisconsin residents. Earlier this summer, also at the direction of Gov. Evers, DOA announced the implementation of $70 million in cost savings for FY19-20 across 18 of Wisconsin’s largest state agencies.

“We have hard and urgent decisions before us, but I have full confidence that my colleagues will rise to the challenge the governor presents us with today,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan. “And, we know that Wisconsinites are depending on us to do the right thing. The right thing financially and the right thing to provide support during these uncertain times.”

DOA and state agencies will follow the same “North Star Values” in identifying cost savings, as was done in the previous reduction effort. Those values are:

  • Our primary responsibility is to provide Wisconsin residents relevant, quality, and timely services;
  • Public service means making sure Wisconsinites' hard-earned tax dollars are invested in ways that benefit their communities. It is also about being deeply knowledgeable and aware of the complicated ways in which state government, local governments, and individuals are interconnected financially (directly or indirectly);
  • Transparency and accountability to both the Wisconsin public and state employees requires that we communicate prompt and useful information to stakeholders regarding budget reduction activities; and
  • Humility, creative problem solving, service, flexibility, truth and patience: those are the values that will help us navigate the difficult fiscal road ahead.