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Joint Finance Budget Summary/UW–Madison

June 8, 2009

The 2009–11 state budget endorsed by the state Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee contains some components that will have an important influence on the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Although the committee’s version of the budget contains reductions required to address declining state tax revenues, its also includes significant and targeted investments that enable the university to strengthen its mission.

The budget bill still requires legislative approval and the governor’s signature.

Here is a summary of the budget’s provisions, plus related items accomplished outside of the budget process (such as employee furloughs, and the 2 percent pay plan repeal) to help balance the budget:

  • Base budget reductions: A $100 million cut over the biennium. The governor had proposed a $65 million cut in the first year and an additional $35 million in the second year. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee moved $15 million of the first year’s cut into the second year, making the cut in both years about $50 million. UW–Madison’s share of the reduction is $18.5 million per year.
  • 1 percent across-the-board reduction: This reduction affects most of the UW System’s non-federal appropriations. The reduction does not apply to federal, gift or tuition funds. UW–Madison’s share of the reduction is $3.4 million for general-purpose revenue (GPR) funds and $2.3 million for program revenue (PR) funds per year.
  • 2 percent pay plan repeal: The June 2009 pay plan increases were rescinded for all unclassified and nonrepresented classified staff. While unions representing the classified staff have not agreed to rescind this negotiated pay plan increase, the cut in each agency’s appropriation will be equal to the amount that would be derived if all employees, including the represented classified staff, were affected. The reduction does not apply to federal, gift or tuition funds. UW–Madison’s share of the reduction is $6.8 million in GPR funds and $2.4 million PR per year.
  • State employee furlough: Employee furloughs of 16 days during the biennium represent a cut exceeding $30 million annually for the UW System. The reduction does not apply to federal, gift or tuition funds, but individuals paid by these funds are still expected to take those furlough days. UW–Madison’s share of the reduction is about $10.2 million GPR and $3.7 million PR per year.
  • Collective bargaining rights for faculty and academic staff: The governor’s recommendation was approved, giving faculty and academic staff the right to vote to bargain collectively over wages, hours, and conditions of employment.
  • Collective bargaining for research assistants: A provision was proposed and approved in Joint Finance that allows research assistants at UW–Madison, UW-Extension, UW–Milwaukee and the other four-year campuses to join with TAs and PAs to bargain collectively under the State Employment Relations Act.
  • Recruitment and retention of high-demand faculty: This fund contains $5 million in GPR and PR in the first year and $10 million in the second year.
  • Domestic partnership retirement and group insurance benefits: These were approved as proposed by the governor.
  • Contract labor spending: A provision was inserted to require each agency to provide, as part of its biennial budget request, the following: the number of contracted positions funded using base resources; base level funding provided to support contracted positions; the amount of funding requested for contracted positions; and the number of state-funded positions that would be required to perform the services under any new contract funding request. Also, it includes prohibition on contract hiring when hiring freezes or mandatory furloughs have been instituted. Also, it requires that agencies review their service contract practices for private personnel and report their findings on how they will achieve savings of 1 percent for the 2009–11 biennium. A report is due by Jan. 1, 2010 to the Joint Finance Committee.
  • Wisconsin Institute for Discovery: Start-up funding of $8.2 million was approved as introduced in the budget.
  • Bioenergy Initiative: The committee approved $7,780,000 of the $8 million requested. An amount of $110,000 was removed as the Legislative Fiscal Bureau paper indicated that this amount provided for the director of the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology at UW–Stevens Point could be federally funded. (The $110,000 will be restored to the ongoing base.)
  • Wisconsin Genomics Initiative: The panel approved $2 million in general purpose revenue, as introduced, for the partnership between UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, the Medical College of Wisconsin, UW–Milwaukee, and Marshfield Clinic.
  • Auxiliary reserves: The committee transferred $23.25 million in program revenue to WHEG-UW. The governor had proposed a $25.0 million transfer. Also, language was inserted that specifies that no more than $3.5 million can be transferred from the reserves of any institution. UW–Madison’s share of the lapse is $2.2 million.
  • Building program: The State Building Commission’s recommended list of projects for enumeration in 2009–11 was approved and includes the following projects at UW–Madison:

    • Utility Improvements
    • Gordon Commons Relocation, Parking & Offices
    • Lakeshore Residence Hall and Food Service
    • 21 North Park Street Office Building Purchase
    • West Campus Athletic Facilities
    • Ag Research Station Renovation – Phase 1
    • Kohl Center Hockey Facility Addition
    • Science Museum
    • Tandem Press Relocation
    • Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research, Middle Tower
    • Charter Street Heating and Cooling Plant Renovation and Addition Wisconsin Energy Institute
    • Memorial Union
    • School of Nursing Facility