Governor Doyle’s 2009-2011 budget includes the creation of a Domestic Partner Registry, a way by which all state employees (including graduate employees and UW faculty and academic staff) will be able to procure health care for their domestic partners. The TAA has been fighting for such a registry for 17 years as a matter of basic fairness and to keep UW competitive with its peer institutions.
Additionally, the UW’s base budget will remain more or less the same. Given Wisconsin’s massive budget deficit, maintaining the status quo is not terrible news for higher education in Wisconsin. However dire our economic times, the UW still will need increased public support in the near future in order to maintain and restore its competitive edge as an Research I institution. Less than 20% of the UW’s operating budget comes from public funds, and tuition increases are not longterm solutions to keep public institutions public. More information about Doyle’s budget can be found from the Wisconsin State Journal.
University requests to continue funding already existing programs, a sum totaling approximately $120 million for the UW system, is in danger of being cut. And the $54 million dollars the state wishes to collect from the UW system for gifts, grants, fees, and tuition further adds to UW system’s budget woes. As of today, nobody is yet certain what impacts the net $174 million shortfall will have on the UW system over the next two years. Read more here.
The budget still needs to be amended, voted on, and approved in the Wisconsin State Legislature in the coming weeks and months.