State of the State Update

Despite the blizzard warnings, Governor Walker delivered his State of the State address Tuesday evening. As expected, the speech was largely devoid of specifics. He did, however, take the opportunity to call for state employees to contribute more to their pensions and to pay a larger share of health care costs:

Asking public employees to make a pension payment of just over 5% (which is about the national average) and a premium payment of 12% (which is about half of the national average) would save the state more than $30 million over three months. Most workers outside of government would love a deal like that — particularly if it means saving jobs.

Walker’s speech did not mention education — K12 or higher education — but Chancellor Martin did offer a reply to the address. She noted that UW-Madison will work closely with legislators to improve the state’s economy, while continuing to push for administrative flexibilities.

PROFS is sponsoring Budget 101, a roundtable to discuss the state budget process,   for those wanting more information about the 2011-13 state budget. Join us at 4 pm on Thursday, February 10 in the Wisconsin Idea Room in the Education Building.