Tag: legislature

UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson Discusses Reopening UW Campuses

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 Rep. Adam Neylon on Committee Oversight of UW COVID-19 Policies

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.


PROFS Statement on the Legislative Budget

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:

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Campus State Budget Forum Recording

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 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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PROFS State Budget Forum

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:

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.

Legislative Update

The Legislature concluded its regular session work in March, passing several items key to Governor Scott Walker’s re-election agenda including a school safety passage, an overhaul of the juvenile corrections system, and a one-day sales tax holiday and $100 per child tax credit. The Legislature did not take action on the following:

“Mark Cook Bills” to Assist Faculty Entrepreneurship, Assembly Bill 758 and Senate Bill 671

PROFS worked with faculty experts to develop bipartisan legislation that would change state statutes that regulate how the university contracts with companies in which faculty or other university employees have a financial interest. AB 758 passed the Assembly, but was not scheduled for a vote in the Senate.

Bill Limiting University of Wisconsin OB/GYN Training, Assembly Bill 206

PROFS registered against AB 206, a bill that would restrict abortion-related activities of UW System and UW Hospitals and Clinics employees. This bill died in committee.

Bills Restoring Tenure and Shared Governance to State Statute, Assembly Bills 991 & 993 and Senate Bills 823 & 824

PROFS registered in support of legislation that would restore language relating to tenure and shared governance to state statues, provisions that were removed as part of the 2015-17 state budget. These bills died in committee.

Bills Limiting Scientific Research, Assembly Bills 83 & 549 and Senate Bills 422 & 423

PROFS registered agains SB 423, and monitored additional bills that would have limited the use of fetal tissue in scientific research. SB 422 received a public hearing but was never scheduled for a floor vote, the remaining bills died in committee.

Bills Eliminating Certain Reporting Requirements, Changes to UW-Madison Health Sciences Start Date, Assembly Bill 932 and Senate Bill 790

PROFS registered in support of this legislation that would eliminate several duplicative reports and allow graduate health science classes to start before September 1. These bills died in committee.

Federal Relations

PROFS President Dorothy Farrar Edwards and Legislative Representative Jack O’Meara traveled to Washington, DC last month as part of the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s UW-Madison Day. They met with members of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation including Senator Tammy Baldwin and Congressmen Mark Pocan and Glenn Grothman, and staff from the offices of House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Ron Johnson.