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.
Last Thursday, University of Wisconsin System Interim President Tommy Thompson participated in a virtual WisPolitics luncheon and shared his plans to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to campus this fall. Thompson also reiterated his view that the Legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules does not have authority to require UW System to submit Covid-19 policies to the committee for its approval.
State Representative Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee) appeared on WISN’s UPFRONT yesterday to discuss recent action by the Legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) that would require UW System to promulgate emergency rules for COVID-19 related policies within 30 days. The committee, which is co-chaired by Neylon and State Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), would then approve or suspend the proposed rules.
Neylon told host Adrienne Pedersen the committee’s intent is to prevent overreach by the university:
“Too often, we’ve allowed agencies, the administration, the UW System, to circumvent the legislative process in doing these unilateral rules that have the same impact as law, without going through the legal legislative process.”
PROFS is strongly opposed to the action of the JCRAR. Our statement is here.
Last night, the Wisconsin State Senate approved the the 2021-23 state budget proposal by a vote of 23-9. Three Democrats — Senate Majority Leader Janet Bewley, Brad Pfaff and Jeff Smith — joined all the Republicans present to vote in favor of the bill. This is the first time since 2007 that a budget bill passed with bipartisan support. The bill now awaits action from Governor Tony Evers who can sign the bill into law, sign it with partial vetoes, or fully veto the bill.
PROFS statement on the budget is below:
PROFS, the La Follette School of Public Affairs, and ASPRO hosted a campus forum on the state budget on Friday, May 7. The forum featured State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point), State Senator Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) and Jason Stein, research director at the Wisconsin Policy Forum. Professor Susan Yackee of the La Follette School moderated the discussion.
PROFS continues to lobby on two bills that relate to UW Extension. While the regular session of the legislature ended today, a special session could be called later this spring.
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.
PROFS will host a forum to discuss Governor Tony Ever’s 2019-21 state budget proposal at noon, Tuesday, April 2 in Room 159 Education (1000 Bascom Mall) This event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.
The panel includes:
- State Representative Dave Murphy (R-Greenville), Chair, Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee
- State Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), former Joint Finance Committee member
- Jeff Buhrandt, Senior Director for State Relations, UW System
- Nicholas Hillman, Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis professor, UW-Madison
The governor’s higher education budget includes increases of $44.7 million in FY20 and $66 million in FY21 and a 2% pay plan for UW System employees, including UW-Madison faculty. Additional details:
- $45 million for capacity building initiatives
- $5 million for UW Colleges student support services
- 2-year tuition freeze, including $50.4 million to fund the freeze
- $10 million for a nurse educators program
- $17.4 million for Wisconsin Grants, a need-based grant program for Wisconsin students
- $3.5 million and 20 FTE for UW Extension agriculture representatives
- $500,000 for environmental education at UW-Stevens Point
- $18 million for a general increase to the Wisconsin Technical College System
- Resident tuition for undocumented Wisconsin residents
The state budget process is a months-long process that stretches into summer and often into autumn. The Joint Finance Committee and both houses of the Republican-led state legislature must approve the plan before it is returned to the governor for his vetoes and final approval.
Event cosponsors: The Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE), Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization (ASPRO), and the Wisconsin Alumni Association.