The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) completed its work on the 2019-21 state budget and sent the amended budget to both houses for approval by the full legislature. The Wisconsin State Assembly approved the amended document on a vote of 60-39, with three Republicans joining all Democrats to vote against the bill. The Wisconsin State Senate received the bill after the State Assembly and approved the document on a vote of 17-16, with two Republicans joining all Democrats to vote against the spending plan. The bill was then enrolled and sent to Governor Tony Evers for review and vetoes.
Governor Evers issued his veto message July 3. The following is a summary of the major items related to UW-Madison in the state budget:
Governor Evers originally proposed around $150 million for UW System that included funding for capacity-building, back-fill for the tuition freeze and other items. The Joint Finance Committee voted to support an increase of funding for the UW System of $45 million over the biennium. The $45 million was placed in the Joint Finance Committee supplemental appropriation. UW System would need to go to the committee with a proposal for the funds to be released. The committee could decide to approve the proposal in full or provide a reduced amount. The committee decided not to include additional funding for Extension-related positions and nursing educators originally included in Governor Evers’ proposal.
Veto Action: While the new money for UW System sits in one large appropriation in the JFC supplement, Governor Evers vetoed other items in the appropriation. UW System was not named as one of them.
Governor Evers originally proposed a 2% and 2% compensation increase in each year of the biennium for all state employees, including UW System employees. The Joint Finance Committee approved the same compensation plan proposed by the governor. These increases would go into effect on January 1, 2020 and January 1, 2021. For the UW System employee compensation portion, the increase will be funded with the 70/30 split, with the state kicking in 70% of the increase and campuses contributing 30% of the cost of the compensation increases. The committee also voted to provide $2 million GPR annually for market wage and parity adjustments.
Veto Action: Governor Evers did not veto the compensation provisions. This is now law.
In his proposal, Governor Evers originally included over $2.5 billion in bonding for maintenance, state agency facilities, UW System, and other infrastructure projects across the state. The Joint Finance Committee voted to support enumeration for a number of UW-Madison projects, including the School of Veterinary Medicine, Sellery Hall, Natatorium, Camp Randall and Kohl Center. Total bonding for the UW System in this proposal was just over $1 billion over the biennium. The committee also provided $432 million in bonding over the biennium for maintenance on state buildings. This number includes maintenance for UW System facilities as well. The total JFC Capital Budget is around $1.8 billion in bonding.
Veto Action: Governor Evers did not veto any UW-Madison capital projects. These are now law and these projects can commence construction on our campus.
UW Dairy Innovation Hub
On a vote of 12-4, JFC added a total of $8.9 million over the biennium ($1 million in the first year and $7.8 million in the second year) for the UW Dairy Innovation Hub. The concept was developed by industry partners and UW campuses during the state’s Dairy Task Force 2.0. The proposal would provide additional funding to UW campuses with schools of agriculture: UW-Madison, UW-River Falls, and UW-Platteville. The funding would be used to hire faculty and graduate students who would focus their research on steward land and water resources, enriching human health and nutrition, ensuring animal health and welfare, and growing farm business and communities, all with the goal of advancing dairy and agriculture in Wisconsin. The funding would come from the Joint Finance Committee’s supplemental appropriation. The campuses would need to form a proposal to submit to the committee for their consideration for the funds to be released.
Veto Action: While the new money for UW System sits in one large appropriation in the JFC supplement, Governor Evers vetoed other items in the appropriation. The Dairy Hub was not named as one of them.