Budget committee leaders say UW System Authority will not be included in state budget

Republican leaders of the state’s budget committee said Tuesday Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to shift the UW System to a public authority model is dead, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Joint Finance Committee Co-Chair and state Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, said that while the proposal is worth considering in the future, the committee won’t take it up in this budget.

Walker has proposed granting the UW System Board of Regents more flexibility from the state Legislature in order to offset a proposed $300 million cut to the UW System.

Darling and her Assembly counterpart state Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, said they also hoped to reduce the proposed $300 million cut, according to the Journal Sentinel.

This contrasts with comments made by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, who has said that restoring funding to other state agencies would take precedence over the UW System.

Legislators are waiting on tax collection estimates in order to determine how much additional money can be spent. Those estimates are expected to be released later this week.

The Joint Finance committee met Tuesday to take up other parts of Walker’s budget, including agencies from the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Health Services and the Office of the Governor.

The committee is not expected to debate funding for the UW System until late May.

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