Another contentious day demonstrates the gulf between Senate and Assembly versions of the state budget. Negotiators at the Capitol batted around education proposals Thursday, but the eight member budget conference committee failed to come to any consensus on funding for the University of Wisconsin System. For Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson (D-Beloit), the day's focus was on the UW System: Robson's not happy with Assembly Republicans, whom she accused of grinding personal axes with provisions to eliminate funding for the UW Law School, and cutting funds for the Sociology Department at UW Madison. “That's just plain silly,” said Robson, who was also critical of Republicans for failing to come up with a counter offer to the UW funding proposal the Democrats made.
But, Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) stuck to his guns on UW funding. “We did not give them as much as you would've given them, and we did not give then as much as they wanted,” said Huebsch. “I believe they are probable not giddy about that. I understand that. And the Republicans elected to counter with a K-12 funding proposal , with Huebsch reiterating that money for public schools remains the Assembly Republicans top priority. A seeming point of agreement between the two sides, to cap the rate of increase for UW System tuition at 4%, fell apart when Republicans rejected a Democrat proposal to provide more money to the university.