Welcome to the UW System Government Relations Newsletter. The UW System Office of Government Relations provides legislative and political updates that impact the University of Wisconsin System at the state and federal level.

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Note: Please note there will be no newsletter published the week of July 4th. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact any of the Government Relations team members. Have a happy and safe 4th of July holiday. 

 

 

 

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State Relations

State Building Commission Recap

The State Building Commission met last week Wednesday and approved the following projects on behalf of UW System:

  • UW-Madison: Engineering Building Replacement BTF Release - $1,000,000 BTF
  • UW-Oshkosh: Utility Improvement Project, Heating Plant Chiller & Cooling Tower Replacement - $3,465,000 ($2,495,000 GFSB & $970,000 PRSB)
  • UW-Stevens Point: Albertson Hall Replacement Demolition and Back-up Data Center - $5,329,000 GFSB
  • UW-Eau Claire: Chancellors Hall HVAC System Reno - $1,274,000 PRSB
  • UW-Madison: Sellery Hall Exterior Envelope Maint. - $781,000 PRSB
  • UW-Stout: Multi-Building Energy Conservation - $2,767,000 PRSB

Details on these projects can be found here.

 

Workforce Innovation Grant Program

Last week, Governor Tony Evers announced over $31M in grants through the Workforce Innovation Grant Program. Three of the announced projects involve the UW System and its universities:

  • UW-Stevens Point will receive up to $8M to help address workforce challenges through a Forestry Operations and Mill Technology certificate programs.
  • UW-Platteville, in partnership with Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, will receive grant funds for the Advance Southwest Wisconsin initiative. The Advance Southwest Wisconsin initiative will receive up to $2.9M to help businesses train, hire, and promote employees.
  • UW-Green Bay, through the UW System Board of Regents, will receive up to $376,000 to provide regional capacity and clinical training for 152 nursing students.

 

Federal Relations

50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Pell Grant Program

Last week marked the 50th anniversaries of both Title IX and the Pell Grant Program. 

UW System President Jay Rothman released statements marking both anniversaries, which you can read here and here.   

Additionally, the White House released a proclamation marking the 50th anniversary of the Pell Grant Program, which can be read in its entirety here, and a statement marking the 50th anniversary of Title IX can be read here

Finally, the House and Senate introduced legislation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Pell Grant Program.  You can find the text of the House resolution here, and the Senate resolution here.  The House resolution is sponsored by Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04), and the Senate resolution is sponsored by Senator Baldwin (D-WI). 

In the background of these anniversaries, the Department of Education announced proposed changes to the Title IX regulations.  The official notice will be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks, which will mark the beginning of the 60-day public comment period.   

 

 

FY 23 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Legislation

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee released the draft FY 23 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill.  If interested, you can read the draft bill text here.  As the following summary (copied below) from the House Appropriations Committee notes, the bill provides a total of $86.7 billion in discretionary appropriations for ED, an increase of $10.3 billion above the FY 2022 enacted level. Of this amount, the bill includes:

  • Student Financial Assistance— The bill provides $24.6 billion for federal student aid programs, an increase of $59 million above the FY 2022 enacted level. Within this amount, the bill provides:
    • $7,395 for the maximum Pell Grant, an increase of $500 above the FY 2022 enacted level.
    • $920 million for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, an increase of $25 million above the FY 2022 enacted level.
    • $1.2 billion for Federal Work Study, an increase of $34 million above the FY 2022 enacted level.
  • Higher Education— The bill provides $4 billion for higher education programs, an increase of $968 million above the FY 2022 enacted level.
    • Within this amount, the bill provides $1.1 billion, an increase of $225 million over the FY 2022 enacted level, to assist primarily Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) in the Aid for Institutional Development account, including:
      • $403 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, an increase of $40 million above the FY 2022 enacted level.
      • $247 million for Hispanic Serving Institutions, an increase of $64 million above the FY 2022 enacted level.
      • $53 million for Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, an increase of $9 million above the FY 2022 enacted level.
    • The bill also provides investments in the following higher education programs:
      • $1.3 billion for Federal TRIO programs, an increase of $161 million above the FY 2022 enacted level.
      • $408 million for GEAR UP, an increase of $30 million above the FY 2022 enacted level.
      • $132 million for Teacher Quality Partnerships, an increase of $73 million above the FY 2022 enacted level.
      • $95 million for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School, an increase of $30 million above the FY 2022 enacted level.
      • $520 million for the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, an increase of $452 million above the FY 2022 enacted level. This amount includes:
        • $200 million to continue the Postsecondary Student Success Grants to support evidence-based activities to improve postsecondary retention and completion rates; and
        • $225 million for new Research and Development Infrastructure Grants to four-year HBCUs, TCUs, or other MSIs to promote transformational investments in research infrastructure.

The subcommittee marked up the bill on June 23rd, and the full committee is expected to markup the legislation June 30th. You can watch the hearing on the committee website

 

Safer Communities Act

Last week, a bipartisan group of senators reached a deal on legislation designed to combat gun violence. In advance of the July 4th recess, the Senate was able to pass the legislation by a vote of 65-33; the House followed, passing the legislation via a vote of 234-193.  The legislation focuses on mental health services for younger Americans, their families, and the various provisions that have been well discussed in various media articles. If interested, you can read the bill text itself here, the statement at introduction is available here, and a brief bill summary is available here.

 

House/Senate Floor Schedule

The House and Senate have recessed for the July 4th holiday.  The House of Representatives is in a committee work week this week, and both chambers will return from their district work periods the week of July 11th