Tag: Legislation

Legislative Update

The Wisconsin Legislature continues to propose legislation and hold public meetings, and PROFS is lobbying on and monitoring several pieces of legislation: 

  • Assembly Bill 195/Senate Bill 323  PROFS registered against these bills that prohibit transgender women from participating in UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System intercollegiate, intramural, and club sports. AB 195 passed the Assembly but failed passage 2-3 in a Senate committee. However, it could still be scheduled for vote in the Senate floor this session. Our statement on this legislation is on the PROFS website.
  • Assembly Bill 370/Senate Bill 260  PROFS registered against these bills that prohibit UW System and UW Hospital and Clinics from, while in the scope of their employment, performing or assisting the performance of an abortion. This legislation could jeopardize the accreditation of the obstetrics and gynecology residency program. AB 370 failed passage 2-3 in committee but could still be scheduled for a floor vote this session.
  • Assembly Bill 413/Senate Bill 409  PROFS is registered against these bills that essentially bans instruction on systemic racism at UW System and the Wisconsin Technical College System. A public hearing was held on AB 413 in October and our testimony in opposition to the bill is on the PROFS website. We are also registered against legislation that targets K-12 public schools (AB 411/SB 411) and training for state and local government employees (AB 414/SB 410).
  • Assembly Bill 568/Senate Bill 557  PROFS is registered in favor of these bills that expand the type of revenue the university currently is allowed to invest to generate additional returns.
  • Assembly Bill 639/Senate Bill 602  PROFS is registered in favor of this legislation. The bill will provide funding $180,000 in funding in each of the next two years for UW-Madison’s Missing-in-Action Recovery Project.
  • Senate Bill 728  PROFS is registered in favor of this bipartisan legislation that would provide $1 million to plan and design a new engineering building at UW-Madison.

UW System Presidential Search and UW-Madison Chancellor Search

The UW System Presidential Search Committee met in closed session last week to discuss and interview semi-finalist candidates. Regents have said they hope to announce a new president in early 2022.

Last month, the Board of Regents voted to approve changes to Regent Policy Document 6.4, which outlines President and Chancellor searches. PROFS worked with UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson and the Regents, and successfully advocated for the changes which will allow for greater representation of shared governance groups on search committees. The UW-Madison Chancellor Search Committee was announced last Thursday. A list of committee members is on the PROFS website.

 

 

November Legislative Update

This legislative update was shared with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Faculty Senate today. The senate meets the first Monday of every month at 3:30 pm during the academic year, October through May, except in January. Guests are welcome to attend meetings, which are held in Room 272 Bascom Hall, 500 Lincoln Drive.

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PROFS Testimony on AB 413, Relating to “Anti-Racism and Anti-Sexism Instruction and Training at the UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System”

The Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities is holding a public hearing on two bills this morning, including Assembly Bill 413, legislation that would prohibit instruction on systemic racism (referred to by some as Critical Race Theory) at UW System and the Wisconsin Technical College System. PROFS strongly opposes this legislation and is registered against bill and its companion, Senate Bill 409.

PROFS offered written testimony from PROFS President Michael Bernard-Donals to the committee:

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Legislative Update

State Budget

PROFS has been working hard for the best possible budget for UW-Madison faculty since late last year. Governor Tony Evers introduced his budget proposal in February, but Republican legislative leaders rejected the plan and began anew in the Joint Finance Committee.

UW System

The Joint Finance Committee voted on the UW System portion of the budget late last month. The committee approved, along party lines, lifting the 8-year tuition freeze, which was not in Evers’ budget, and increasing UW System funding by $8.25 million, a fraction of the $192 million increase the governor proposed. The increase in funding is earmarked for specific programs, including $5 million for the Freshwater Collaborative, $2 million for UW-Extension county co-op agents, and $250,000 for a Nelson Institute collaborative program with the Department of Defense.

Pay Plan

The Joint Finance Committee also voted to provide funding for pay increases for all state employees, including UW-Madison faculty and staff, of 2 percent in each of the next two years. PROFS urged the committee to adopt a robust pay plan for the university before the committee met earlier this month, noting that strong faculty salaries are crucial for recruitment and retention and allow UW-Madison to remain competitive among our peers.

Timeline

The Republican-led Joint Finance Committee concluded its work on June 17. The Assembly will vote on the bill on Tuesday, June 29, with the Senate vote likely to follow on Wednesday, June 30. The bill will then go to the governor for his signature, partial veto, or full veto. The fiscal year begins July 1, and the current spending levels contained in the 2019-21 budget will be in place until Governor Evers takes action. Should the governor veto the entire budget, the current spending plan continues through June 2023 or until another 2021-23 biennial budget is passed by the Legislature.

Legislation

PROFS is also following and taking positions on a number of bills and proposals:

Assembly Bill 177/Senate Bill 209  PROFS registered against these bills that limit the use of drop boxes for returning absentee ballots.

Assembly Bill 192/Senate Bill 203  PROFS registered against these bills that place new restrictions on absentee ballots.

Assembly Bill 201/Senate Bill 204  PROFS registered against these bills that make it harder to use absentee ballots and register to vote electronically.

PROFS is strongly opposed to legislation that makes voting more difficult for faculty, staff, and students. Our statement is here.

Assembly Bill 77/Senate Bill 80  PROFS is registered in favor of these bills, which provide $1 million for state specialists who provide certain UW-Extension services. Public testimony in favor of this legislation is   Similar funding was added to the state budget by the Joint Finance Committee.

Assembly Bill 195/Senate Bill 323  PROFS registered against these bills that prohibit transgender women from participating in UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System intercollegiate, intramural, and club sports. Our statement on this legislation is  .

Assembly Bill 347/Senate Bill 375  PROFS registered against these bills that prohibit UW System and the Wisconsin Technical College System from requiring testing for, or vaccination against, COVID-19.

Assembly Bill 362/Senate Bill 359  PROFS registered in favor of these bills that restore previous shared governance language to state statutes.

Assembly Bill 363/Senate Bill 360  PROFS registered in favor of these bills that restore previous tenure language to state statutes.

Assembly Bill 370/Senate Bill 260  PROFS registered against these bills that prohibit UW System and UW Hospital and Clinics from, while in the scope of their employment, performing or assisting the performance of an abortion. This legislation could jeopardize the accreditation of the obstetrics and gynecology residency program.

LRB-3355  PROFS will oppose this legislation that bans instruction on systemic racism (referred to in the media as Critical Race Theory) at UW System and the Wisconsin Technical College System when introduced.

 

 

 

 

May Legislative Update

This legislative update was shared with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Faculty Senate yesterday. The senate meets the first Monday of every month at 3:30 pm during the academic year, October through May, except in January. Guests are welcome to observe the livestreamed meetings and can find the link here.

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PROFS Statement on AJR 32, Declaring April to be Freedom of Expression Month

Tomorrow, the Wisconsin State Assembly is scheduled to vote on Assembly Joint Resolution 32, legislation that would declare April to be Freedom of Expression Month across Wisconsin. The resolution was introduced last week by State Representative Dave Murphy (R-Greenville) and State Senator André Jacque (R-De Pere). Murphy chairs the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities.

While PROFS is committed to the principles of free expression, it finds this resolution to be an attack on the state’s colleges and universities:

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PROFS Testimony on AB 77, Providing Funding for Extension Services

Emeritus Professor Steve Ventura

On Wednesday, Emeritus Professor Steve Ventura (Soil Science) testified at a public hearing of the Assembly Agriculture Committee in favor of Assembly Bill 77, legislation that provides $1 million per year in funding for state specialists in extension services at UW-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The funding is to aid in applied agricultural research.

PROFS submitted the testimony below and Ventura, a former PROFS Steering Committee member, spoke about the importance of such funding.

In an executive session yesterday, the committee unanimously recommended passage of the bill. The next step is for the bill to be scheduled for a vote in the full Assembly.

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PROFS Statement in Opposition to AB 195, Legislation That Limits Participation of Transgender Athletes in Collegiate Sports

Yesterday PROFS registered against Assembly Bill 195, legislation that prohibits the participation of transgender women in intercollegiate and intramural sports at Wisconsin’s public universities and technical colleges. Our statement is below:

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PROFS President Michael Bernard-Donals’ Statement on Campus Free Speech

Yesterday, PROFS President Michael Bernard-Donals was invited to speak on behalf of PROFS about campus free speech at an informational hearing of the Senate Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges. His remarks are below.

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