Legislature’s budget writing committee votes to continue UW tuition freeze

The Legislature’s budget-writing committee has voted to continue a University of Wisconsin tuition freeze for another two years and give the system about $58 million more in state funding, with a catch.

Most of the money, $45 million, would only be turned over after UW if lawmakers approve of how they want to spend it.

Total new funding approved Tuesday by the committee is about $69 million less than Gov. Tony Evers proposed.

Evers wanted about $50 million to pay for the tuition freeze, but the committee rejected that while extending the six-year-old freeze.

The panel also rejected Evers’ proposals to spend $45 million to attract and retain students in high demand areas. It also rejected a $10 million Evers proposal designed to increase teachers in the nursing school.

University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross says he feels like he’s been “kicked in the shins.”

Cross says he is “really frustrated and disappointed” after lawmakers had told him until Thursday that he UW’s budget proposal was reasonable.

Cross says, “The Legislature missed an opportunity to meet the future needs of the state.” Cross calls the committee’s decision “shocking” and “very short-sighted.”

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