Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday the University of Wisconsin System faces a budget lapse of $45 million out of a total lapse amount of $300 million in funding to state departments.
The move comes after a revised budget lapse from late July, when Evers said the UW System’s share of the total budget reduction of $250 million would be $69 million, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The amount would try to offset revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Secretary for Evers’ Department of Administration Joel Brennan said state agencies have to make tough decisions, according to Associated Press reporting.
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“There is no doubt that state agencies must make difficult decisions,” Brennan said. “This pandemic has affected every community in Wisconsin, and families across our state have also had to make tough decisions.”
In a blog post, UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank said the university released a furlough policy to make up for some of its losses — which total $100 million — caused by reimbursing students for their room and board for the spring semester and other expenses.
In a recent tweet, the UW System said they worked “very closely” with Evers to review the proposed budget lapse and appreciate their concerns were recognized.
“The administration has also been helpful in our COVID-19 response effort, and we continue to work closely with them on key issues such as contact tracing,” the tweet said.
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Though its budget cut has been decreased to $45 million, the UW System has the second-highest budget relapse after the Medicaid program, which is looking at a $120 million reduction.
The UW System President Tommy Thompson is required to present a budget proposal to the Board of Regents for approval in its August meeting. The budget is then sent to the Department of Administration by Sept. 15 each even-numbered year.
During its August meeting, the Board of Regents finalized a budget document to continue UW’s in-state tuition freeze in order to lobby for higher state funding.