State Budget

Richie Diesterheft, flickr

Wisconsin is one step closer to changing the way it funds its state parks. 

Republicans on the Joint Finance committee advanced Gov. Walker’s plan Thursday to pull back state funding for parks and let users and corporations pay.

Wisconsin isn’t the only state searching for new ways to fund its parks, according to Republican Sen. Tom Tiffany.

Justin W Kern


Wisconsin received disappointing budget news on Wednesday. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau told the state not to expect additional tax revenue to roll in, over the next two years.

State leaders were hoping revenue would exceed expectations, so they could restore some cuts Gov. Walker made in his budget.

Walker says he had hoped for better news, so he would not have to carry out his plan to cut $127 million from K-12 education.

Wisconsin's State Capitol
Ann Althouse, Flickr

State leaders had hoped additional tax money would enable them to restore funding for public schools and reduce a proposed $300 million cut to the UW System.

But, according to projections from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, there will be no extra revenue over the next two years.

beautifulcataya, flickr

In anticipation of state budget cuts, University of Wisconsin Chancellor Rebecca Blank says the flagship campus will have to eliminate approximately 400 positions and end some programs and restructure others. She specifically cites the fields of information technology, agriculture and the arts.

Gov. Walker cuts state funding for the UW System by $300 million in his two-year budget proposal. Republican leaders say they hope to reduce the cuts, particularly if state revenue increases by the end of the current fiscal year.

robbyb, flickr

The Legislature’s budget committee, on Wednesday, began digging into Gov. Walker’s proposed budget for Wisconsin. Before the meeting, Republican leaders removed 14 policy items the governor had tucked into his plan. 14 of 49.

Among those removed was Walker’s proposal to make the Natural Resources Board an advisory one.

UWM Officials Announce Buyout Program

Apr 14, 2015
Adelie Freyja Annabel, Flickr

UW-Milwaukee officials on Monday explained details of a new buyout offer for employees. The plan encourages faculty and staff who are close to retirement to leave early.

The campus stands to lose as much as $40 million in state aid over the next two years, if lawmakers approve Gov. Walker’s budget. One way UWM is looking to deal with the shortfall is through a buyout program.

Chancellor Mark Mone says the university will offer the deal to about 300 of its 4,500 employees.

Troye Fox

The UW Board of Regents began a two-day meeting in Waukesha on Thursday.

They heard from UW System President Ray Cross, who told regents he’s making progress in swaying legislators, on the next two-year state budget. Cross is working to convince lawmakers not to go ahead with Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal, to strip $300 million from the system in the next two years. Cross wants a smaller cut, in addition to greater autonomy for the system.

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Conservation education dates back to 1935 in Wisconsin. That’s when state law required that grade and high school students learn about natural resources.

Dennis Brekke / Flickr

With debate over the state budget continuing, Wisconsin legislators are hearing from public school administrators around the state who are concerned about significant proposed cuts to K-12 education spending.

But funding is not the only hot-button education issue on the legislature's agenda. There are also debates over standardized testing, Common Core standards, integration programs, and voucher and charter schools.

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During the first public hearing, the Joint Finance Committee heard citizens express their concerns about cuts to education, changes to the state’s long-term care program and funding for transportation projects. Occasional comments about the environment were sprinkled throughout the hour-upon-hour of testimony.