UW System will face a budget lapse of only $45 million, a $24 million decrease compared to the original $69 million cut that Governor Tony Evers ordered in July.
As announced in a UW System tweet, the overall cost savings has also increased to $300 million from the initial $250 million announcement.
In the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) background and overview of the fiscal year 2020-21 state budget reductions statement DOA Secretary Joel Brennan commented on the $300 million return to the state’s general fund, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on Wisconsin residents.
“There is no doubt that state agencies must make difficult decisions,” said Brennan. “The pandemic has affected every community in Wisconsin, and families across our state have also had to make tough decisions.”
The UW System faces the second highest cut in this new order, with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Medicaid facing a $120 million budget reduction goal.
In August, UW System President Tommy Thompson announced an unspecified amount of layoffs and the limitation of the administration’s out-of-state travel to save $10 million through June 30, 2022 to combat the original $69 million budget cuts ordered in July.
The DOA and state agencies are working to find more savings throughout the state in addition to this $300 million to reduce spending for the 2020-2021 budget year.
“This Administration is committed to taking the necessary actions to stabilize the state’s budget and spur on Wisconsin’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Brennan said.
The DOA asks state agencies to submit their plans for how they will achieve their savings by Dec. 15, 2020.
The UW System educates approximately 170,000 students among 13 universities across 26 campuses. As the state’s largest employer, the UW System employs 39,000 faculty and staff Wisconsinites. The UW System’s annual budget is $6 billion, with $1 billion in state funding.