Legislation changing the makeup of the Milwaukee Area Technical College has been approved by the Wisconsin Assembly – more than thirty hours after debate began on the contentious issue. The measure, which earlier passed the state Senate after a delayed vote, now heads to Governor Scott Walker for his signature.
The two sides in the Assembly brokered a deal to preserve FCC licenses held by MATC. In exchange for that assurance, Democrats agreed to drop dozens of amendments. That cleared the way for the chamber to continue with the rest of the calendar and, potentially, close the biennial legislative session some time Friday night.
The bill was authored by state Senator Glenn Grothman, who leveled criticism at the school during last week’s Senate debate. “There is a feeling that the graduates of MATC are not as good as the graduates of some of the surrounding colleges, and that’s one of the reasons why the Milwaukee business community has, over a period of time, expressed a concern over MATC,” Grothman said.
The bill would ensure five of nine MATC board members be from the business community. I was amended to only deal with MATC, not the state’s other technical college boards. Democrats in both legislative chambers noted that is was the original bill, not the amended version impacting only the Milwaukee campus, which was the subject of public hearings,