Evers Administration Orders Immediate 5% Reduction in State Spending Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

In a letter to all state employees, Evers’ administration secretary, Joel Brennan, said all of the state’s executive agencies will need to make the reduction in taxpayer-funded operating expenses by June 30.

In a media call with reporters Wednesday, Evers described the cut as a first step to begin addressing anticipated shortfalls in state revenue brought on by an economic recession and the administration’s efforts to reduce transmission of COVID-19 by closing nonessential businesses.

“These things are important,” Evers said. “We think it’s one of our ways to get to a better place financially. Cutting the operations budgets by 5% is approximately $70 million in savings, which is important for us as a government going forward.”

The reduction is in addition to restrictions on state-sponsored out-of-state travel, a hiring freeze with exceptions for COVID-19-related positions and those essential for business functions, and a suspension of discretionary merit compensation.