Finance committee won't take up UW budget


The Legislature's budget committee has chose to put off votes on the University of Wisconsin System budget because Senate Republicans can't agree on what to do about tuition rates.

UW System officials have asked lawmakers to end the freeze and return authority over tuition to the Board of Regents.

"But, to me, the gas tax increase, for something like, that is a non-starter". The increases were supposed to have been covered under Walker's budget by savings generated by moving the state to a self-insurance model but finance committee leaders have signaled they won't go that route.

It's the latest example of internal disagreement over the 2017-19 budget among Republicans, who for the fourth straight budget process control the Assembly, Senate and governor's office. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has said he would rather increase financial aid than tuition.

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The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee was scheduled to take up the UW System budget Tuesday but scuttled action after Republicans couldn't reach an agreement.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates that about 56 people would test positive for drugs under the expanded screening and be referred for treatment.

"I don't know why he wouldn't call us instead of acting like Donald Trump and tweeting at us", Vos said in a telephone interview.

Darling said the UW's budget would not see an overall cut in state funding.

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Moments before the panel was set to meet, co-chairs Rep. John Nygren and Sen.

The committee then convened and spent four hours voting on other parts of Walker's budget. "Someone who will continue to have an impact, not just in the public policy world in terms of his direct impact, but now through this new center we'll have the ability to pass that on to future generations", Walker said.

Other budget proposals up for votes Tuesday included increasing grants for UW System students, private college students and technical college students by $5.6 million and opening up a program that grants free tuition at UW System and technical colleges to children and spouses of dead veterans anywhere in the country.

The Legislature's budget committee is slated to consider whether to cut University of Wisconsin System tuition and tie campuses' state aid to new performance standards.

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Although dissatisfied with the delay on the vote, Kerwin said she was not surprised. The GOP is at an impasse on how to pay for road repairs, a far bigger issue than UW tuition that threatens to shut down budget work, perhaps for months. In the Assembly, Republicans hold 64 to 35 seat edge.