Wisconsin may not be able to refinance $165 million in debt as planned in the municipal bond market this week or next, but that doesn’t mean the state is in any kind of immediate fiscal peril.
Wisconsin has taken center stage this budget season, as Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, has pushed to eliminate most of the collective bargaining rights for the state’s 170,000 public employees through a controversial budget “repair bill.” Democratic state senators have fled the state to avoid voting on the measure.
Mr. Walker’s latest tactic to lure them back has been threatening to make additional cuts or more layoffs, should the state be unable to refinance $165 million in debt for short-term budget relief. Under his plan, the state would issue a 10-year bond to restructure a debt payment that otherwise would be due May 1.