Governor Scott Walker delivered his budget address last night with few surprises. Most of the budget details had been released to the press over the past ten days. A transcript of the budget speech is here, and video is here. The bill in its entirety is here.
Walker is increasing the University of Wisconsin System budget by $181 million over the biennium, almost half of it in the form of a flexible block grant, and response to the proposal has been positive. Chancellor David Ward issued a statement last night saying that the budget was one of the best in many recent cycles:
“While the university will have to confront many challenges, that task becomes much more manageable when we are not heading into the future with a ready-made deficit. I applaud the governor for recognizing the need to re-establish the state’s partnership in funding quality higher education in Wisconsin.”
UW System leaders had praise for the budget, too. President Kevin Reilly noted the role that the university plays in economic development across the state:
“Governor Walker recognizes and appreciates the role that UW institutions play in boosting our state’s economy. Job creation and workforce development are top priorities for everyone, including the UW System. We look forward to working with all legislators from both parties to advance this budget.”