State budget and higher education

Legislators in attendance included, from left, Sen. Jennifer Shilling, Rep. Steve Doyle, Rep. Jill Billings and Rep. Loren Oldenburg.

Video: Area legislators share views on governor’s budget proposal

Area legislators discussed the state budget — with a focus on higher education — during a campus forum Friday, March 8.

The forum came on the heels of Gov. Tony Evers releasing his proposal for the 2019-2021 state budget.

“As I think of words to describe this budget — it’s refreshing,” said Sen. Jennifer Shilling. “I think many of us waited eight years to hear some of the things Gov. Evers talked about when he gave his budget address.”

During welcoming remarks at the forum, Chancellor Joe Gow explained a few items in the budget proposal that impact higher education including: a tuition freeze for Wisconsin undergraduate students, fully-funded two percent pay increase for faculty and staff, and funding for several UWL capital improvement projects including Phase II of the Prairie Springs Science Center and a new fieldhouse and soccer field support building.

The governor’s proposal expands spending, noted Rep. Loren Oldenburg.

“We will have to find middle ground here and what is best for the state of Wisconsin and the university, and education at all levels. Because that is our job down there,” said Oldenburg. “And I look forward to being part of that process.”

Watch the video.

The event was sponsored by UWL’s Joint Legislative/Regents Committee. Other campus co-sponsors included: Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Faculty Senate, Academic Staff Council, University Staff Council, and Student Association.