Gov. Walker challenges Barrett on budget - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Gov. Walker challenges Barrett on budget

MADISON (WKOW) -- Rep. Robin Vos (R-Burlington) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) sent a letter to Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Barrett Thursday, asking what he would have done differently to fix the state's $3.6 billion budget deficit last year.

Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) was quick to agree that Barrett should explain, because the Milwaukee Mayor has been very critical of his reforms.

"Oh yeah, I mean, if this is a redo, he's not looking ahead.  He's said he wants to undo what's happened over the last year, he should explain what he'd do," said Gov. Walker. 
    
"I certainly, can point to my budget in Milwaukee and say my budget was balanced.  He can't do that right now," Barrett said in DePere Thursday morning.

While that statement was true, new data released Thursday afternoon by Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, shows state revenue collections were up in March and April and are projected to stay that way.

If that happens, Wisconsin would actually have a budget surplus by the end of June.

"And I think that undermines one of the key arguments that our opponents have out there," said Gov. Walker.

But Barrett says people in Wisconsin are more worried about real numbers, especially when it comes to the jobs Governor Walker let walk out of the state.

"I wouldn't have shut down the wind energy industry in this state, clean energy," said Barrett.  "His decision, and this was his decision, resulted in the suspension or cancellation of seven wind projects throughout the State of Wisconsin that would have employed 750 to 900 workers."

But Governor Walker said that Barrett can't talk about job loss, since Milwaukee's unemployment rate has gone up 28 percent during his eight years as mayor.

"If people want to see massive job loss in this state, they should elect Tom Barrett," said Gov. Walker.

The new budget estimates from the Department of Administration show the state will have just over $154 million by the end of June, 2013.

The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau calls that a reasonable projection based on current economic forecasts.

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