The Joint Finance Committee held their first voting session on the state budget yesterday, May 6th. The Committee plans to hold the next exec on Thursday, May 13th. No word at this time when WTCS might appear on the agenda.
The committee first voted on an omnibus motion to remove 380 items from the Governor’s proposed bill, including many non-fiscal policy items, but some with big dollar impacts. Voting along party lines, JFC removed Medicaid expansion, along with more than a billion dollars in federal funding associated with it.
Several other items of interest to higher education were removed under the omnibus motion, including the proposed “Badger Promise,” which would have provided free UW tuition to qualified students. Page numbers below refer to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau summary document. Each section of the document is linked below.
Items removed from the budget:
Regarding our initiative to repeal Board of Regent authority over WTCS transfer programs, Senator Roger Roth released a Senate Universities and Technical Colleges Committee report this week, based on a series of informational hearings held this spring. Surprisingly, the report recommended keeping the Regents authority in place, even though SB-291, the legislation to repeal s. 36.31, has been referred to Roth’s committee and has yet to receive a bill hearing. The committee votes today on whether to approve the report.
A summary of the report can be found in this Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article.
Meanwhile, technical college stakeholders and partners from throughout Wisconsin have written more than 200 letters to date, calling for expanding the postsecondary education pipeline, supporting economic development via credential attainment, and providing more equitable access to college, by equipping technical colleges with transfer degree programs. Many thanks to our partners and supporters for their time and effort to help make AB-266/SB-291 a reality.
Look for additional Boards Association updates, as more information becomes available.