Amid uncertainty of the level of support Gov. Scott Walker has in the state Legislature for his budget proposal, state Sen. Patrick Testin, R-Stevens Point, supported the tuition cut and increased UW System funding in a speech to UW-Madison’s College Republicans.
“I’m glad to see funds go back to the UW System,” he said “There are some tweaks regarding the tuition cut though that needs to be talked about.”
The senator attributed his support of the budget to the potential to increase jobs in Wisconsin’s changing automation economy.
“We need to train up our workforce and that starts in the classroom. We also need to retain our talent in the state,” he said.
Testin praised Walker’s recent proposals to raise funding for Wisconsin’s college system and his proposal for a 5 percent cut to UW System’s in-state undergraduate tuition for next year within the budget.
The senator also stressed the strength of Madison’s Republican organization on a “widely” liberal campus.
“You guys are tough. You have to be here,” Testin said. “You have to be able to stick to your guns and be able to back it up.”
Students asked Testin about upcoming bills he is working on, including one focused on agriculture and another to bring back industrial hemp in the state.
The hemp bill intends to legalize production of hemp, a type of cannabis that does produce a high. Industrial hemp was once a leading product in Wisconsin. Hemp is used to make construction materials, paper and textiles.
Testin also discussed an upcoming Wisconsin rural initiative to help increase access to health care, education and job opportunities in rural areas outside of Madison. The upcoming bill also increases funding for rural broadband internet service.