The freeze on in-state undergraduate tuition at UW System campuses will continue for another two years due to a Republican plan voted on Tuesday, but the schools will be receiving less than half of the taxpayer funding Gov. Tony Evers requested to compensate for the freeze.
The tuition freeze has been in place since 2013, when it was started by Republicans, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
However, Evers, a Democrat, approved the freeze for two more years, but by keeping tuition costs low, taxpayer funding would have to cover the increasing costs, the Journal Sentinel reported.
The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee approved the motion, voting along party lines, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The proposal grants the UW System $59 million over the next two fiscal years, $48 million less than what they requested.
“I’m frustrated,” UW System President Ray Cross said after the vote. “I feel like I’ve been kicked in the shins.”
The motion also requires the UW System to submit a plan for how it will use $45 million of the allocated funds that the budget committee will review, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison, expressed concerns that this amount of money wouldn’t cover increasing costs and would damage the UW System.
"It’s beyond disappointing," Taylor said. "It’s perplexing. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s negligent. And what you’re guaranteeing is that campuses will close."
JFC Co-Chair John Nygren, R-Marinette, said some will always want to spend more, but there are different standards set for taxpayer money, according to WisPolitics.
“[F]irst and foremost, we need to realize there are expectations that have to be built into any resources we provide from taxpayers,” Nygren said.