Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Gov. Evers’ capital budget proposal rejected by Republican lawmakers

$3.8 billion budget included funding for new UW Engineering building, Camp Randall renovations
Abby Cima

The Wisconsin State Building Commision rejected Gov. Tony Evers’ 2023-25 capital budget proposal March 23, sending it to the Joint Committee on Finance with no recommendations. The commission voted 4-4 on every motion in the project, leaving the commission deadlocked.

All four republicans on the eight-person committee voted no to the proposals.

The governor proposed a budget of nearly $3.8 billion to go towards investments in state infrastructure. The estimated economic impact of the money spent was $6.8 billion, bringing around 45,000 jobs to the state of Wisconsin.


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Of the budget, approximately $1.8 billion was allocated for funding improvement projects at University of Wisconsin System campuses around the state. This included plans for a new College of Engineering building and the replacement of Camp Randall Sports Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Our capital budget addressed critical infrastructure needs across our state in a way that kept borrowing low, saved the taxpayer’s money in the long run, and created critical local jobs and economic development,” Evers said in a press release. “While Republican leaders claim to support these goals, their action today shows that they would simply rather play politics than have a meaningful discussion about how these projects would serve the needs of the folks they represent . . .”

Evers said in the press release he will continue to fight for the projects the budget intended to fund and commit to investing in 21st century infrastructure for the state.

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State Rep. Jill Billings, D-LaCrosse, is a member of the State Building Commision and voted in favor of all of the governor’s proposed projects.

“It’s unprecedented for the [State] Building Commission to come out without recommendations on the project,” Billings said. “So, this is not the norm to vote all the projects down.”

Billings said these projects are a good investment in Wisconsin and are heavily vetted and studied.

But, Billings was not surprised by her colleagues’ votes on the proposal, as the Republicans on the committee voted against the 2019 and 2021 biennial budgets as well.

“I assume that the Republicans want to create their own rankings of importance of these projects and pass through the ones that they like and not include the ones that they don’t like,” Billings said.

The actions of the Republicans on the State Building Commission could introduce a political agenda to a place where politics really don’t belong, Billings said.

The 4-4 vote will send the budget proposal to be reviewed by the Joint Finance Committee.

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“The Joint Finance Committee has no recommendation that’s come out of the Building Commission, no guidance that’s come out of the Building Commission,” Billings said. “They kind of go back to step one and look at the projects and the merits of the projects.”

The rejection of the budget proposal leaves a lot of campuses and organizations in uncertainty and in a position of having to advocate for their projects all over again, Billings said.

“We look forward to working with members of the legislature and the Joint Finance Committee to continue to demonstrate the vital need for these UW-Madison projects,” Director of Media Relations and Strategic Communications, Kelly Tyrrell said in an email statement to The Badger Herald.

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