Wisconsin’s Budget Process

  • Every two years, the state creates a new biennial budget. The budget cycle is continuous, moving from preparation of agency budget requests to submission of the Governor’s budget to legislative authorization of appropriations, to agency expenditure of those appropriations, to review of agency expenditures and then, beginning again, with subsequent agency budget requests.
  • Each state agency, including the University of Wisconsin System, develops a biennial budget request in the Spring and Summer of each even numbered year for the following biennial budget period. The Board of Regents of the UW System reviews budget initiatives as it prepares its biennial budget request, which includes UW–Madison’s budget. During the Fall of each even numbered year, the Board of Regents submits its budget request to the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration.
  • UW System Budget Process Overview (PDF)


  • November (even-numbered year): Agency budget request submitted to the governor. The governor reviews the request.
  • February (odd-numbered year): Governor introduces budget proposal.
  • March: Governor releases capital budget.
  • April – May: Joint Finance Committee modifies governor’s budget and Capital budget.
  • June: Assembly and Senate act on budget.
  • July: Governor signs budgets; issues vetoes.

Budget Timeline 2019

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