On Jan. 1, there will be changes to deductibles, out-of-pocket costs, prescription co-pays and other aspects of the state employee health insurance program. The UW System describes the changes here.
UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone discussed the state budget‘s affect on their institutions Wednesday at a forum in Milwaukee organized by WisPolitics.
In a memo to the co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee, Legislative Fiscal Bureau Director Bob Lang says that while 2014-15 tax collections may exceed earlier estimates, collections for the next two fiscal years are expected to grow more slowly than expected, meaning no extra revenue for the 2015-17 state budget.
“On balance, we believe that the current estimates for the three-year period are still reasonable and should not be adjusted,” Lang said.
Read the LFB memo here.
Reaction to the budget news:
The co-chairs of the Wisconsin legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, said this morning that Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to create a UW System public authority will not be advanced out of committee.
Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, and Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, also voiced support for lowering the $300 million cut to the UW System proposed in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget.
The UW System budget is expected to be taken up by the committee later this month.
The Joint Finance Committee is expected to take up the UW System budget as it wraps up its work on the 2015-17 state budget in late May. The committee will propose and vote on amendments to Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal, and then pass the full budget bill as amended.
In the week or two after Joint Finance passage, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau will analyze the changes made to the governor’s budget by the committee. When the analysis is completed, the bill will go before the Assembly and Senate for a vote, usually in early- to mid-June. The bills passed by the two legislative houses must be identical.
Once a bill is passed by both houses of the legislature, the governor’s office analyzes the bill and decides whether there should be any vetoes. The governor usually signs the bill, and issues a veto message, a week to two weeks following legislative passage. If legislators disagree with any of the vetoes, they can override them with a two-thirds majority vote in both houses.
The new fiscal year begins July 1.
Chancellor Blank is sharing an update on UW-Madison budget reductions on her blog, Blank’s Slate. Her $36 million plan includes $21 million in budget cuts and redirects an additional $15 million from other campus units to UW’s overall educational mission. The plan includes the elimination of approximately 400 positions. Read more.
The Madison Region Economic Partnership, the economic development agency for the eight-county region surrounding the state Capitol, has passed a resolution calling for a reduction in the level of cuts proposed to the UW System in the 2015-17 state budget.
“Though the MadREP Board of Directors rarely weighs in on legislative matters, we determined that the threat facing the UW System by these proposed funding cuts is so profound that such an action is warranted,” says Bill White, Chairman of the MadREP Board of Directors. “The University of Wisconsin is a dynamic economic engine that represents one of the region and state’s most important competitive advantages for its role educating our workforce, performing world-class research, and creating new jobs and companies.”
See MadREP’s press release here.
The report shows that UW–Madison, UW Hospital and Clinics and the university’s affiliated organizations and startup companies support 193,310 Wisconsin jobs and generate more than $847.5 million in state and local tax revenue. That’s up from 128,146 jobs and $614 million in tax revenue the last time a similar study was completed in 2011.
The Joint Finance Committee today will begin deliberations on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
According to the Associated Press, the committee is not expected to vote on the UW System budget until later in May.
Joint Finance Committee meetings can be viewed online at Wisconsin Eye.
Gov. Scott Walker made several adjustments to his budget proposal in a letter to the Joint Finance Committee chairs on Monday, including restoring the statutory language about the Wisconsin Idea. The errata letter is sent to legislators to correct errors in the budget bill.
The error message to lawmakers also calls for modifying the budget bill to cap resident undergraduate tuition increases at UW System schools to no more than the annual increase in the consumer price index, which is used by the federal government to track inflation.
In a statement, UW System President Ray Cross said the errata letter “makes a number of welcome corrections” to the original budget proposal and that he is “working with the legislature in a new spirit of openness, dialogue, and partnership to reduce the proposed UW System budget cut and to approve a package of transformative operational flexibilities that will lead to greater efficiency and savings.”