MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s finances are stronger than before the onset of the last recession in 2007, but are about average when compared with other states, according to a new report released Monday by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum.
The report comes amid financial turmoil caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, mass closures and skyrocketing unemployment. Gov. Tony Evers said Monday he was going to order on Tuesday that all non-essential businesses close, likely forcing more people out of work. He argues the move is needed to further stop the spread of the virus.
The Wisconsin Policy Forum report said Wisconsin has a relatively strong $2 billion unemployment insurance fund, bolstered cash balances that can help cover short-term bills and other improvements in basic measures of financial strength such as higher reserves.
But it also cautions that in terms of total preparedness it is no better than average when compared to other states and will need federal aid to address the challenges citizens will face. Wisconsin is behind most stats on debt per capita and the total amount of savings it has relative to expenses.