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Media Memo: State Budget

TO: News and Assignment Editors

FROM: Mike Rindo

DATE: June 22, 2005

SUBJECT: State Budget

The Wisconsin State Assembly this morning passed its version of the 2005-07 state budget. As passed, the budget will result in a $90 million cut to the University of Wisconsin System — which is in addition to $250 million in cuts during the current biennium and another $50 million in 2002-03.

The budget passed by the assembly would result in cuts of more than $3.8 million at UW-Eau Claire in 2005-07. That is in addition to the $4.9 million reduction in the current biennium and a $410,000 reduction in 2002-03. With this budget, the total reduction in state support for UW-Eau Claire during 2002-2007 would be in excess of $9 million.

Minnesota, conversely, is expected to increase funding to its public colleges and universities by $214 million in the next two years. Census figures indicate Minnesota already has a much higher percentage of adults with four-year college degrees than Wisconsin.

As you are aware, this subject has recently received a great deal of attention in the editorial pages of newspapers in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. A sampling of editorials is included with this memo. (Note: Some sites require free registration before articles can be viewed.)

La Crosse Tribune - Our view: Republican budget cuts will hurt UW and the state

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online - Are they dismantling UW?

St. Paul Pioneer Press - Shortsighted budgeting for higher education Wisconsin lawmakers are pulling the fiscal rug out from under the state's university system

Interim Chancellor Vicki Lord Larson or Vice Chancellor Andrew Soll are available to discuss the impacts this latest round of budget cuts will have on UW-Eau Claire. To arrange an interview, contact Mike Rindo, executive director of university communications, (715) 836-4742 or rindomj@uwec.edu.

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