Evers proposes $2.4 billion in building projects

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers wants to spend $2.4 billion on building projects across 31 counties in Wisconsin over the next two years, with nearly a half of that going toward projects across the University of Wisconsin System.

Evers released his capital budget proposal on Monday. The state building commission is slated to vote on it next month, which would then send the plan to the Legislature’s budget committee which will then decide what to fund.

Evers said his capital budget request is an investment in the upkeep of the state’s infrastructure for longevity and public safety as well as the future.

“The capital budget is an investment in the up-keep of our infrastructure for longevity and public safety and in the future we want to build for our state,” said Evers. “It’s about our priorities—from investing in sustainable energy options and protecting our public lands, to supporting the growth of our UW campuses and students, to reforming our juvenile justice system, to investing in community development, this capital budget will have a far-reaching impact on our communities and our state for generations to come.”

Of the nearly $2.4 billion proposed, $1 billion will be for UW System projects.

Three of those proposed projects are at UW-L, including residence halls elevator tower additions, replacing the HVAC system at Mitchell Hall and completing the Prairie Springs Science Center, meant to replace Cowley Hall.

Evers said the budget also prioritizes funding for corrections and health services facilities, state parks and forests, upgrades at veterans homes and improvements at veterans cemeteries, creation of a new $163 million state office building and parking garage in Milwaukee and redevelopment of a block near the Capitol in Madison for a new state office building and home for the Wisconsin Historical Society Museum.

The project would involve tearing down an existing state office building on the site.

The State Building Commission will meet March 17 to vote on the governor’s Capital Budget recommendations. Then, the Building Commission’s Capital Budget recommendations are statutorily required to be submitted to the Joint Committee on Finance by the first Tuesday in April.The Building Commission is chaired by Gov. Evers and made up of the following members:
  • Senator Janis Ringhand,
  • Senator Jerry Petrowski,
  • Senator Andre Jacque,
  • Representative Jill Billings,
  • Representative Rob Swearingen,
  • Representative Robert Wittke, and
  • Citizen member Summer Strand.