Parisi signs Dane County budget

County executive approves $524.6 million spending plan
Parisi signs Dane County budget

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi signed the 2013 county budget Thursday with no vetoes.

In the 2013 Dane County budget, more than $243 million is allocated to county human services that prevent child abuse and neglect, combat domestic violence and protect victims and their families, provide a safety net for older adults, address homelessness, expand resources for those struggling with mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction, and more.

The $524.6 million spending plan includes a $2 million increase in funding for those who struggle with disabilities, including a new program developed by Parisi to reduce waiting lists for assistance.

Dane County officials said continued state and federal funding reductions and modifications to reimbursement formulas have placed a significant strain on the county’s Department of Human Services. Parisi said he used other funding sources in his budget to make up for a federal cut that would have otherwise resulted in a $850,000 reduction in services for those with disabilities.

The budget also includes $600,000 for a homeless day shelter and $3.5 million for road projects.

Parisi said sound fiscal management has resulted in the county’s General Reserve Fund quadrupling in the past year.

The county executive’s budget for next year included an additional $1 million increase in that Reserve Fund and filled nearly $2 million in budget lines that had been chronically underfunded, according to a news release. Parisi said those steps have the county on track to end this year with more than $11 million in its reserve fund, a $14 million swing to the positive in the past two years.