Gov. Scott Walker signed the 2013-15 state budget bill on June 30, 2013, putting into law a spending plan for state government for the next two years. Interim Chancellor David Ward says he is pleased that the governor listened to many concerned voices and vetoed a provision that would have prohibited the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism from utilizing space on the UW–Madison campus.
Category Archives: Budget news
The Joint Committee on Employment Relations today approved Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal for a 1 percent wage increase in each of the next two years for state employees, including UW–Madison employees. The committee also approved a compensation plan for classified employees.
For most UW–Madison employees, the pay increase is the first since 2008, said Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Darrell Bazzell. Read more »
Interim Chancellor David Ward today sent two letters to Gov. Scott Walker requesting vetoes on provisions in the 2013-15 budget bill.
The bill is on Walker’s desk after passing the Assembly and the Senate this week. Walker is expected to issue his vetoes and sign the bill next week.
Ward is asking Walker to use his veto pen on two amendments, one related to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, the other the HR Design project. The provisions were added to the budget during the legislative Joint Finance Committee’s deliberations.
Ward is seeking a veto of language in the budget bill that would prohibit the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism from utilizing space on the UW–Madison campus and bar UW employees from doing any work related to the WCIJ as part of their official duties.
In addition to the important work the collaboration has yielded and the opportunities it provides to students, Ward cited a concern about the legislature restricting the university’s ability to partner with outside entities on teaching and research.
“The best and brightest researchers – and entrepreneurs, and families, and investors in Wisconsin’s economy – cannot function when a government body holds more sway over their decisions than years of careful experience,” Ward writes in the letter.
Ward would also like the governor to veto a provision delaying the implementation of the HR Design personnel system for two years.
Pushing back the implementation of the new human resources framework will delay the university’s ability to make timely and effective hiring decisions, implement enhanced systems for employee development and performance evaluation, and install a new strategic diversity plan for hiring and employment activities, among other important changes, Ward writes.
Below is a letter from Interim Chancellor David Ward delivered to Wisconsin legislative leadership on Friday, June 14.
June 14, 2013
To: Scott Fitzgerald, Senate Majority Leader
Robin Vos, Speaker of the Assembly
Chris Larson, Senate Minority Leader
Peter Barca, Assembly Minority Leader
From: David Ward, Interim Chancellor
I am writing in reference to a budget amendment approved by the Joint Committee on Finance that would prohibit the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (WCIJ) from utilizing space on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus as well as prohibit UW employees from doing any work related to the center as part of their official duties.
The following message was distributed to the campus community on Thursday, June 6 from Interim Chancellor David Ward.
Many of you are rightfully concerned about the amount of funding cut from the UW System budget, and what that will mean for you personally, and how it will affect the work we do each day in service of our teaching and research missions.
I was disappointed with the legislative committee’s decision to go well beyond the governor’s modified budget proposal and reduce our funding to an even greater extent, as well as the legislators’ decision to extend their authority to some specific UW operations. The budget recommended by the committee, if adopted by the full legislature, will present us with a formidable challenge.
Office of Human Resources Director Bob Lavignia shared a message with the campus community Thursday, June 6 on the status of HR Design.
In the 2011-13 state budget, UW–Madison and the UW System were granted the authority to create human resources systems separate from the state personnel system. These new HR systems were to be implemented beginning on July 1, 2013. At UW-Madison, the initiative to create our new HR system is the HR Design project.
On May 23, the legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance amended the governor’s 2013-15 biennial budget bill to delay the effective date of the components of HR Design that require statutory changes until July 1, 2015. The budget is expected to be finalized later this month.
The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) on Thursday recommended providing the UW System $89 million less in the next biennium than Gov. Scott Walker proposed in his amended budget, and delayed for two years the implementation of UW–Madison’s HR Design and the UW System’s overhaul of its personnel system.
The budget plan for the UW System was passed in an omnibus motion that wrapped several initiatives into one proposal. The motion passed on a 14-2 vote.
MADISON, Wis. – The legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance today advanced a budget that cuts state funding for the University of Wisconsin System by $66 million over two years and requires that UW reallocate $78 million for new initiatives and other expenses.
In addition, the Committee voted to transfer $58 million of UW funds to the Higher Education Aids Board (HEAB) in fiscal year 2014. Because an equivalent amount of state funding would be withdrawn from that agency’s budget, the transfer will not result in any additional financial aid for UW students.
To the extent possible, UW System will use balances to cover fixed costs such as faculty and staff salaries, fringe benefits, debt service, and utilities. However, the permanent funding reductions and the absence of any new tuition revenues are expected to leave a structural shortfall of at least $61 million in UW’s annual budget starting in fiscal year 2016.
Interim Chancellor David Ward has issued the following statement regarding the Joint Finance Committee’s action on the UW System budget:
“The governor’s amended proposal for UW System funding was challenging but manageable. While I understand and appreciate the concerns of the Legislature over tuition levels, fund balances and other issues, I am disappointed that the Joint Finance Committee felt it needed to eliminate any new state funding in the upcoming biennium. While we are able to reduce our cash balances to cover the expenses that will not be covered by the state in this biennium, the additional ongoing reductions proposed by the Committee will make it more difficult to meet our operational obligations in future years. We must work together going forward to rebuild the trust between the university and the Legislature, to ensure that our goals and objectives for the university are aligned, and that there is a shared commitment to the level of state investment that will allow the state to maintain a world-class university.”
The state legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to consider Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal for the UW System’s 2013-15 biennial budget on Thursday. The meeting is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has papers analyzing the budget proposal can be viewed at the LFB’s publication page.
WisconsinEye will carry the proceeding live.