Capital Budget Update

Posted By: Andrew Heidtke Advocacy,

Investing in the state building program was one of our top priorities this budget session. It was one of our three issues we lobbied on at our Legislative Day at the Capitol. Our ask was $2 billion. Aggressive, but badly needed.
Last night, the Joint Finance Committee approved a nearly $1.9 billion capital budget. More than $1 billion of the GOP capital budget, which was approved 12-4 along party lines, would go to projects in the UW System. That's slightly less than what Evers originally proposed. Governor Evers' capital budget included nearly $1.9 billion in new borrowing. The GOP plan would instead borrow nearly $1.5 billion.
Linked are two documents:

  1. Our letter of support that was circulates in the Capital
  2. A document showing the difference between the projects Gov. Evers planned to fund and what projects the JFC funded. Motion #128 would be the Governor’s proposal and Motion #147 is what JFC approved last night.

Some highlighted projects approved are:

  • $129.5 million for a UW-Milwaukee chemistry building;
  • $93.25 million for a UW-Eau Claire science building; and
  • $90 million for an addition and renovation of UW-Madison’s veterinary medicine building.
  • $40.7 million to renovate UW-Milwaukee's student union and $7 million for an addition to the Klotsche Center
  • $126.4 million at UW-Madison for a new gymnasium and recreational facility
  • $74 million for a renovation of Camp Randall Stadium
  • $38 million for an addition and renovation of the Kohl Center

Some of the projects Evers proposed that the committee left off its final document include: $150 million in additional money to fund new juvenile corrections facilities; $98.5 million for the state to build a new office building in Milwaukee; and $83 million for a science center on the UW-La Crosse campus.
I appreciated this quote the most - Joint Finance member Rep. Mark Born said, "The focus should be investing in state facilities," he said. "They are our responsibilities."