The Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a summary of AB 64, the 2017-19 biennial budget, along with individual agency summaries, including UW System (below). These documents reflect the Governor’s original proposal and changes made by the Joint Finance Committee.
Both houses of the legislature must pass the bill, which will be taken up by the Assembly tomorrow, Wednesday, September 13. Governor Walker said last week he hopes to sign the bill later this month.
by Michelle Felber • • Comments Off on Joint Finance Committee Public Hearings on Governor Walker’s 2017-19 State Budget
The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee announced six public hearings on Governor Scott Walker’s 2017-19 biennial budget proposal. None are in the Madison area, but one will be held at UW-Platteville on Monday, April 3 from 10 am until 5 pm.
by Michelle Felber • • Comments Off on Walker: Budget Increase Tied to Performance Measures
Speaking in his weekly radio address, Governor Scott Walker reiterated his intention to freeze UW System tuition for two more years and said he will tie any increases for UW System in the 2017-19 state budget to performance measures such as number of graduates and graduate employment rates.
by Michelle Felber • • Comments Off on Governor Walker on Tenure, Tuition, Free Speech on Campus
Governor Scott Walker spoke about UW System and recent faculty no confidence votes with Jay Weber on WISN radio yesterday.
The pair touched on several subjects, including tenure (“jobs for life”), the possibility of extending the tuition freeze into the next biennium, shared governance and giving more power to the chancellors, strengthening free speech on campus, and “superstar” faculty members who bring in large amounts of research funding.
by Michelle Felber • • Comments Off on Governor Walker Announces New Regents
Governor Scott Walker announced the appointment of three new members to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents earlier this month. Tracey Klein, a Milwaukee attorney, and Bryan Steil, a Beloit attorney, will serve regular seven-year terms, while Lisa Erickson, a UW-River Falls journalism student, will serve a two-year term as non-traditional student regent.
Klein is a shareholder at the Milwaukee law firm of Reinhart Boerner Van Dueren where she chairs their health care practice. She is a member of the UW-Madison Political Science Department Board of Visitors, the Marquette University Law School Board of Visitors, and the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District Board of Directors. She is a graduate of UW-Madison and Marquette University Law School. The Capital Times reported she is a generous contributor to Governor Walker.
Steil is associate general counsel at Regal Beloit. He previously worked as a legislative assistant to Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Janesville). He is a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Wisconsin Law School. His grandfather, George K. Steil, Sr., was a member of the Board of Regents from 1990 to 1997.
Erickson, of Osceola, is a former catering company owner. In addition to being a student, she writes a weekly food column and is a crisis pregnancy counselor.
by Michelle Felber • • Comments Off on Updated: PROFS Forum on Self-Insurance
Governor Walker said in his State of the State address last month he would use savings from changes in state employee health insurance for increased funding for education. One option under consideration is switching from the current model of HMO’s to self-insurance.
The Wisconsin Group Insurance Board has begun the process to consider self-insurance and will vote Wednesday, February 17 on the language they will use for a request for proposals from companies that may help with self-insurance in the state.
In recent years two different consultants provided very different cost savings estimates to the board, and the board is hoping new information will help them decide whether or not to move ahead with self-insurance. Background information is available here.
PROFS will host a forum on self-insurance and what that means for state employees, including UW-Madison faculty. The forum will be held Tuesday, February 23 at 4 pm in the DeLuca Forum in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard Street. It is free and open to the public.
The panel includes UW-Madison School of Business professor Justin Sydnor; Lisa Ellinger, Director of Office of Strategic Health Policy with the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds; and Mike Bare, Research and Program Coordinator for the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute.
Governor Scott Walker will deliver his sixth State of the State address at 7 pm this evening. It will be broadcast live on public radio and television, with a live webstream on WisconsinEye.
The governor declined to offer specifics about the speech when asked over the weekend, but did say he would talk about workforce development and job readiness. Walker’s speech may also include highlights of the college affordability package announced last week.
by Michelle Felber • • Comments Off on 2015-17 Budget Passes Legislature, Awaiting Gubernatorial Approval
Both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature approved the 2015-17 biennial budget (Senate Bill 21) this week, sending the bill to Governor Scott Walker for his approval. The governor has not indicated if he will use his extensive veto powers to eliminate or change any sections of the proposal, but quick action is expected as Walker has said he would like the budget completed before he formally announces his run for the presidency.
The budget cuts $250 million from the University of Wisconsin System, removes tenure protections and shared governance language from state statutes, outlines new procedures to fire tenured professors, and freezes in-state tuition for two years. Walker originally asked for a $300 million budget cut and full public authority for UW System.
PROFS lobbied vigorously against the tenure and shared governance proposals and massive budget cuts, communicating with members of the Joint Finance Committee and sharing formal statements on the budget and tenure with the entire legislature.
Yesterday, Chancellor Rebecca Blank sent two letters to Governor Walker requesting vetoes relating to tenure and shared governance and indefinite academic staff appointments:
by Michelle Felber • • Comments Off on Governor Walker: Freeze Tuition for Two Years, Tie Future Increases to Inflation
Governor Scott Walker said yesterday in a letter to the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Finance (below) that he continues to support public authority status for the University of Wisconsin System. Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle have expressed concern over the proposal, with Joint Finance Committee Co-chair John Nygren (R-Marinette) saying the plan had little support among Assembly Republicans and is “dead in our caucus.”
Walker also said he intends to limit tuition increases to no more than the annual change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) after a two-year freeze, saying the move would protect students and parent from unpredictable tuition increases.
UW System President Ray Cross said in statement (below) that tying tuition increases to CPI “is not compatible with the agile, market-driven, and competitive entity the state needs us to be.”
The governor also said he would not change statutory language regarding the university’s mission, thus keeping the Wisconsin Idea intact.