Joint Finance Committee to Vote on Lapse Proposal Today

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee will meet today at 1 pm to vote on the Department of Administration’s plan for a $174.3 million budget lapse. The lapse is part of Act 32, the 2011-13 biennial budget that passed last summer. Act 32 requires that the lapse must come from general purpose revenue — UW System cannot use program revenue for its share of the lapse.

A Fiscal Bureau summary of the proposal is here. As reported earlier, UW System is shouldering an historic share of the lapse, and UW-Madison must cut $17.4 million from its 2011-12 budget. The Fiscal Bureau notes that while several institutions are holding positions vacant and using one-time funding to account for their share of the lapse, they cannot guarantee that students will not be affected:

(G)iven that instructional and other student-related costs are such a large part of each institution’s GPR budget, few institutions were able to completely safeguard students. Reductions that would affect students include holding open instructional positions and cancelling or delaying initiatives aimed at improving student retention.

ETA: The Joint Finance Committee voted 12 to 4 along party lines to approve the lapse proposal.