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Video from PROFS/ASPRO Self-insurance Forum

PROFS/ASPRO 2017 Self-insurance forum

PROFS and ASPRO recently partnered to host a campus forum on self-insurance. UW-Madison Chemistry professor Judith Burstyn, PROFS President, moderated. Our panelists (from left to right):• Lisa Ellinger, Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds• Peter Farrow, Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire General Manager and CEO• Justin Sydnor, UW-Madison School of Business professorWhile the panelists were able to take several questions from the audience, many questions remained. Those questions are listed here: https://www.facebook.com/PROFSUWMadison/photos/a.737713292923623.1073741831.156836447677980/1606444092717201/?type=3

Posted by PROFS UW-Madison on Thursday, April 20, 2017

Joint Finance Committee Removes Non-Fiscal Policy Items from Budget Proposal

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee removed 83 non-fiscal policy items from Governor Walker’s budget proposal, including rules on faculty teaching load and freedom of expression on UW campuses. The committee chairs say the items should be considered as non-budget legislation by other committees.

Several additional provisions removed by the co-chairs relate to the University of Wisconsin System, including:

  • allowing students to opt out of certain allocable fees
  • requiring students to have work experience or an internship before graduation
  • requiring campuses to outline a plan for three-year degrees

PROFS and ASPRO Forum on Self-Insurance

PROFS and ASPRO, the Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization, are partnering to sponsor a public forum on self-insurance at 4 pm, Thursday, April 13 in the Plenary Room of Grainger Hall, 975 University Avenue.

Earlier this year, the Wisconsin Group Insurance Board recommended a switch to self-insurance for all state employees beginning in 2018, and Governor Scott Walker has earmarked the projected savings to fund a pay plan for UW System employees and increase K-12 funding in the next biennium. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee must review the proposed changes before they go into effect, and most of the committee has publicly expressed deep concern over the plan.

So where does that leave the proposal? PROFS and ASPRO have assembled a panel of experts who will share their knowledge about self-insurance and state employee health plans and take questions from the audience, including:

  • Will the Group Insurance Board reduce the number of eligible health plans even if self-insurance fails?
  • How will the state replace the earmarked funds if self-insurance fails?
  • How might a switch to self-insurance affect the state’s health insurance marketplace?
  • Are the projected savings from a switch realistic?

The panel:

  • Justin Sydnor, UW-Madison School of Business Associate Professor, Risk and Insurance. Sydnor is an applied microeconomist specializing in behavioral economics. His interests include the study of risk aversion and insurance choices, discrimination, and issues surrounding self-control and commitment.
  • Lisa Ellinger, Director of the Office of Strategic Health Policy, Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF). Before joining ETF, Ellinger was the assistant director of the Wisconsin Health Project. She is also an alum of UW-Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs.
  • Peter Farrow, General Manager and CEO of Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire. Farrow is past president of the Wisconsin Association of Health Plans, an advocacy organization opposed to self-insurance. A graduate of Marquette University, he was previously Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Insurance in Wisconsin.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Ray Cross Testimony to Joint Finance Committee

University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross spoke to the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee last Thursday, March 30.

Cross focused on four areas: affordability, accountability, compensation and infrastructure. His prepared remarks are below.

PROFS State Budget Forum

PROFS hosted a public forum on the state budget on Thursday, March 16. PROFS President Judith Burstyn moderated. State Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Assistant Vice Chancellor for Government Relations and Strategic Partnerships Ben Miller, and PROFS Legislative Representative Jack O’Meara were panelists.

 

PROFS State Budget Forum

PROFS will host a forum to discuss Governor Scott Walker’s 2017-19 state budget proposal at noon, Thursday, March 16 in Room 5120 Grainger Hall. This event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Ben Miller, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Government Affairs and Strategic Partnerships, and Jack O’Meara, PROFS Legislative Representative, will share their expertise and take questions from members of the audience. A recording of the the forum will be available online at a later date.

Questions at the forum are likely to include:

  • What types of performance metrics are likely to be included as part of possible increased funding for UW System?
  • What is the likelihood of a pay plan for UW faculty and staff? Is a pay plan still possible if the Joint Finance Committee does not approve self-insurance?
  • Would new statutory language codifying the state’s commitment to academic freedom result in any changes to existing campus policies?
  • Are non-fiscal policy items likely to remain in the budget proposal?

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau summary of the University of Wisconsin System portion of the governor’s budget is here.

PROFS is planning a forum on self-insurance later this spring.

 

 

March Board of Regents Meeting

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents is meeting in Madison today, March 9. All meetings will be held in Gordon Dining and Event Center, 770 West Dayton Street. Livestream coverage of the full board meeting is here.

The Subcommittee on Investments and Committee on Education will meet before the full board begins at 9:30 am. The education committee will consider the post-tenure review policies of UW-Extension, UW-Parkside and UW-Stout.

The full board will hear updates from UW System President Ray Cross and Board of Regents President Regina Millner. Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University, will lead a discussion on public higher education and Susan Baxter, Executive Director of the California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology, will discuss Cal State’s system-wide biotechnology efforts.

 

Spring Primary Tuesday, February 21

The Wisconsin spring primary election is tomorrow, Tuesday, February 16. Polls will be open from 7 am to 8 pm statewide. Photo identification is required to vote.

A primary election for the Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction is the only statewide race on the ballot. Superintendent Tony Evers faces challengers Lowell Holtz of Beloit and John Humphries of Mt. Horeb. The top two vote-getters will face off on Tuesday, April 4.

More information on polling locations and voter registration is available here.