“Congratulations to the Conference Committee for reaching an agreement on the biennial budget that invests in Wisconsin’s economic future. We are pleased that the conferees were able to agree that even in tight fiscal times, the University of Wisconsin System can help promote economic growth.
“We are especially grateful for full funding in the second year of the biennium for the Board of Regents’ Economic Stimulus Package, which helps fund the Madison Initiative, the Milwaukee Idea and other new programs at each campus across the UW System. This will enable the UW System to enroll more than 2,600 additional students, especially in high-demand and high-wage fields such as biotechnology, engineering and computer science. The UW System is committed to serving Wisconsin well with these resources.
“The Conference Committee also provided important Capital Budget improvements, including several important campus projects across the state and the Biostar program at UW-Madison that will meet research and classroom needs. In addition, a 4.5 percent increase in the Wisconsin Higher Education Grant, the Lawton Grant and the Advanced Opportunity Program — three important state financial aid programs — will help students and families meet educational costs.
“Overall, the UW System will receive approximately $36 million in new state funding for the Regents’ Economic Stimulus Package. Our institutions will also manage nearly $10 million in budget reductions as well.
“We are anxious to move forward with our economy agenda for Wisconsin. We pledge to work closely with the Governor, legislators, state agencies and our local communities on these issues.”