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Governor’s budget includes additional funding, policy proposals

February 9, 2017

Gov. Scott Walker released on Wednesday his proposal for funding state government over the next two years, including roughly $105 million in new funding for the University of Wisconsin System, $35 million to fund a 5 percent tuition reduction, about $5.7 million more for UW System student aid through the Wisconsin Grants program, and new funding for the Wisconsin Rural Physician Residency Assistance Program and Alzheimer’s research at UW–Madison.

“I am very appreciative of the new investments Gov. Walker is proposing for the UW System,” UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said.

The budget bill now heads to the Joint Finance Committee, the legislative body that votes on fiscal matters. Following debate and approval from the Joint Finance Committee, it will also be debated and voted on by the state Assembly and Senate before going back to Walker for his signature.

Overall, Gov. Walker’s proposal provides $140 million in additional funding to the UW System. Here is how that figure breaks down:

  • $50 million is money the UW was required to lapse back to the state in the last budget but is returned to its base budget in this biennium.
  • $35 million will be paid to UW System to cover a 5 percent tuition cut for in-state undergrad students in the 2018-19 school year.
  • $42.5 million will be tied to performance metrics in areas including affordability, workforce readiness, student success, efficiency and service.
  • $11.6 million for employee compensation increases.
  • $10 million in additional funding for the Wisconsin Grants program, including nearly $5.7 million for UW System student aid.
  • Approximately $900,000 is allocated for a variety of other programs, including $200,000 for the Wisconsin Rural Physician Residency Assistance Program and $100,000 for Alzheimer’s research at UW–Madison.

There are also a variety of policy proposals that affect the UW, including:

  • Allowing students to opt out of allocable student segregated fees. (At UW–Madison, these fees support a wide range of student organizations and the student bus pass.)
  • Requiring institutions to develop plans that would allow a student to complete a bachelor’s degree in three years.
  • Requiring the Board of Regents to establish a plan for monitoring and reporting on faculty and adjunct teaching hours.
  • Requiring students to have an internship or other work experience before graduating.
  • A proposal to switch state employees, including UW System employees, to a self-insurance model effective Jan. 1, 2018. (Read more on self-insurance.)
  • Assuming the governor’s self-insurance proposal is approved by the Joint Finance Committee, state employees, including UW System employees, would receive a 2 percent salary increase Sept. 30, 2018, and an additional 2 percent on May 26, 2019.

More information will be available throughout the state budget process at