The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents approved two budget requests of more than $2 billion to state lawmakers, according to a report from Wisconsin Public Radio.
A capital budget request of $1.9 billion, which would go towards building and renovation projects around the state, is the largest budget request made by regents in the past decade, according to WPR. UW System officials say the budget catches them up after four years of cuts by state legislators, including a reduction of the capital budget by more than $200 million in 2015.
The request includes 18 construction projects at UW campuses. Four of the projects, including a new UW-Madison gymnasium and recreational center, would be funded by increases in student fees at the respective universities. UW students approved the increase of $108 per student back in 2014.
Republican Bryan Steil was the only regent who voted against the budget, saying it was too large and unfocused.
The regents also signed off on a request for an additional $107 million for the UW System’s operating budget.
$82.5 million of the request would come from tax dollars and would go towards meeting performance-based goals Republican state legislators have imposed on the system. Another $25 million would help increase access to high-demand programs at the schools.
Democrat Tony Evers, who won the Democratic nomination for the gubernatorial race and will face Governor Scott Walker this November, was the only regent who voted against that request, saying it doesn’t seek money for raises.
The spending plans will now go to the state Legislature as lawmakers create the next state budget.