Tag: Legislation

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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March Legislative Update

This legislative update was distributed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Faculty Senate meeting today. The senate meets the first Monday of every month at 3:30 pm during the academic year, October through May, except in January. This semester, the senate will meet in Room B10 Ingraham Hall.

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