Wisconsin’s new chief executive is not wasting any time seeking allies.
Governor-elect Scott Walker is asking the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents to help balance the state budget. With a deficit of nearly $3 billion, the Republican told University officials Thursday he and the incoming legislature face a quote “formidable task,” and a serious challenge ahead. “But I said repeatedly in the job I currently hold and will say again as governor that great challenges bring great opportunities. And it’s not always going to be easy.”
Walker told UW policymakers he needs their help, and wants U-W leaders involved when his commerce department negotiates to bring new companies to the state. Walker says the UW is a great asset to help fulfill his goal of creating 250,000 new jobs.
Also, considering the challenges ahead, Walker says it’s important to create aggressive initiatives to graduate more students. “But I’m going to have to ask for your help in ways in finding how to do that. It isn’t just always about more money; it’s gonna be about finding ways to take the dollars we have and find new ways with flexibility, with inovation and creativity to apply those dollars in the best way possible to meet those goals on campus by campus across the state.”
Regent President Chuck Pruitt told Walker the group is looking forward to working with the new governor.