Yackee moderating state budget forum Friday, May 7

Professor Susan Webb Yackee

La Follette School Director Susan Webb Yackee will moderate a livestreamed panel discussion about the 2021–2023 state budget at noon Friday, May 7. State Sens. Jon Erpenbach and Dale Kooyenga will participate along with Jason Stein, research director at the Wisconsin Policy Forum.

The event is open to the public, but registration is required via this link.

The Public Representation Organization of the Faculty Senate (PROFS) and the Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization (ASPRO) are sponsoring the event with the La Follette School. PROFS and ASPRO are nonprofit advocacy organizations at UW–Madison that provide a voice to faculty and staff, allowing them to communicate directly with legislators and others on issues affecting the University, its faculty, and its staff.

Gov. Tony Evers proposed an education budget that exceeded UW System’s request by almost $100 million, and Republican leaders have said they plan to create their own budget in the Joint Finance Committee.

Gov. Evers’ proposal includes:
• $190 million in new funding for UW System, including more than $50 million to fully fund the continuing freeze on in-state undergraduate tuition.
• $40 million over two years in unrestricted funding to address student needs and budget losses due to COVID-19.
• Borrowing authority that will give UW System the ability to borrow funds for short-term academic and athletic expenses, a long-sought budget tool that UW-Madison peers already have.
• Expansion of Bucky’s Tuition Promise to all UW System institutions, along with significant increases in other financial aid programs.
• $2 million for 15 additional county-based UW-Extension positions and five climate science research positions.

The governor also introduced a $2.4 billion capital budget, which includes almost $1 billion for UW System, but his proposal was deadlocked in the State Building Commission, leaving the Republican-led Joint Finance Committee to determine the capital budget.

UW–Madison has four major projects in Evers’ proposal:
• $88 million for a new College of Letters & Science building to replace the aging Mosse Humanities Building.
• $150 million for the first phase of a new College of Engineering building to replace the 82-year-old Computer Aided Engineering Center.
• $26 million for the restoration of the 140-year-old Music Hall.
• $73 million for underground utility work on the Engineering campus, an area prone to damaging floods.