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UW regents talk budget cuts

MADISON (WRN)   University of Wisconsin System Regents hear details about expected budget cuts. David Miller, head of the system’s fiscal affairs, said under Governor Walker’s proposal, campuses had unfunded liabilities of $47 million over two years; however, the legislature’s budget panel rejected Walker’s $181 million suggested increase and shaved off an additional $2.5 million. Lawmakers also ordered the UW to use its reserves to pay for $90 million in planned expenses.

Miller says, in total, the system is now facing $202.6 million in cuts and lapses. Some of that would’ve been offset by anticipated revenue from a proposed tuition hike, an increase that has since been frozen.

The cuts came after it was realized the system was sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars in reserves. The discovery led to a visceral response by some policy makers.

“They have their own issues,” said Jeffery Bartell one of several regents who urged better communication with those at the Capitol. “But it’s our job and our challenge and our responsibility to convince them that we are the solution.”

The full Legislature will take up the budget later this month.