A dispute over a proposed tuition cut included in Governor Scott Walker’s budget plan is holding up a vote on funding for the University of Wisconsin System.
The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee had been scheduled to vote Tuesday on UW System funding, but delayed action because majority Republicans in the Senate have been unable to reach an agreement on a proposed tuition cut.
“There’s just a difference of opinion on the tuition,” said JFC co-chair Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), a Senate Republican. “When you have a diverse Senate…you have to respect everybody’s opinion and you have to come together with what is a consensus approach.”
Both Darling and Assembly co-chair John Nygren (R-Marinette) told reporters they do support keeping the freeze in place, although Nygren said the proposed cut is a “non-starter” for his chamber. “It was costing $35 million to cut tuition…we’d utilize those dollars in other ways,” he said.
The dispute is the second time the committee has delayed a vote on portions of the budget, while there are also ongoing behind the scenes disputes over property taxes and transportation funding. Nygren said that has been frustrating, although both he and Darling said they remain hopeful they can finish working on the budget before the state’s fiscal year ends in just a little over a month.
UPDATE: Sen. Darling said Tuesday evening that she now hopes to bring the UW System budget up for a vote when Joint Finance meets on Thursday.