PROFS Registers in Favor of Telecommunications Bill

PROFS has registered in favor of proposed legislation that would delay the restrictions on the University of Wisconsin System in providing or selling telecommunications services. The bills — SB 375 and AB 473 have bipartisan sponsorship and are supported by a range of educational and community groups.

The proposed legislation would defer the prohibition on university-supplied telecommunications services one year, postponing the effective date from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014. These prohibitions were created as part of the state budget process last spring, and PROFS worked hard to create a compromise. Ultimately, the governor approved legislation that would preserve funding for WiscNet and allow services to remain in place for two years while the Legislative Audit Bureau conducts an audit of the program. A delay would allow the legislature and participating organizations, including UW-Madison, time to fully review the audit and possibly implement audit recommendations.

UW Colleges and Extension Chancellor Ray Cross is scheduled to testify in favor of the bill at the Senate Agriculture, Forestry, and Higher Education Committee hearing later today.