The University of Wisconsin System will likely face all of Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed $300 million cuts.
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau announced Wednesday there are no new revenue projections over the next two years, meaning previous plans to reduce budget cuts to the system have now been put aside.
The Joint Finance Committee is currently reviewing the budget. The committee will make amendments and pass the draft on to the Assembly and Senate for approval.
Assembly Speaker Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, told reporters Wednesday that previous plans to try to mitigate the UW System cuts might change under the new, unchanged revenue projection.
“Throughout the entire process, as the Assembly Republicans have said we would like to reduce the cut, much of it was predicated on the fact that we believed that there would be additional revenue,” he said. “But we now know that additional revenue is not going to be there.”
Vos said reducing cuts to K-12 education remains the Assembly’s top priority, and if lawmakers are able to find additional savings they would begin to focus on other aspects of the budget, such as the UW System.
Last month, UW System President Ray Cross boldly stated he would resign from his position if the full cuts stayed in place and if shared governance is removed from the budget, both of which now appear likely.
UW System president says he’d resign if cuts don’t go down, shared governance is removedA University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor asked UW System President Ray Cross Wednesday whether he’d resign if the proposed $300 million Read…
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, echoed this sentiment two weeks ago when he told WKOW 27 News the UW System would likely not be a priority if there were no new revenue projections.
Fitzgerald’s comments came a day after Walker warned the May revenue projections might not be as significant as previously hoped and a week after the UW Board of Regents voted to raise out-of-state tuition and tuition for some graduate programs.
“I think with the out-of-state and the graduate student tuition increases that the Regents implemented, there probably seems to be even less of a commitment to backfill that,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald also said K-12 education would take priority over the UW System budget.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, said in a statement Walker’s budget would hurt community schools and the LFB projections are an indication of poor planning on the part of Republicans.
“These weak revenue projections are another indication of the harm that three rounds of Republican budgeting, as well as their anemic economic development efforts, has done to our state,” Barca said.
LFB’s reappraisal comes shortly after lawmakers dropped plans to change the UW System to a public authority model, which would give it more autonomy and separate it from the state Legislature.
GOP budget committee co-chairs say UW public authority proposal is outThe two Republican co-chairs of the state’s Joint Finance Committee said Tuesday the proposal to turn the University of Wisconsin Read…
The public authority model was intended to offset some of the budget cuts, but UW System officials and lawmakers have voiced concerns about the process being rushed. Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, told reporters the shift would not take place this budget season.
“I think that it’s an idea that has some merit, but I think needs a little bit more time to study it and see what the true impacts would be,” Nygren said.