After announcing his operating budget request in his biennial budget message last week, Gov. Tony Evers introduced his capital budget proposal for the 2021-23 biennium on Monday. The capital budget establishes state priorities for construction, renovation, and maintenance projects for state facilities, whereas the operating budget proposal covers everything from state agency funding to state employee pay raises.
This capital budget proposal includes projects of significance for western Wisconsin, including the science building projects at UW-River Falls and UW-La Crosse I supported in August when the Board of Regents passed its capital priorities list. Gov. Evers recommended a new renovation project for UW-Eau Claire’s Haas Fine Arts building as part of a UW System instructional space project request, with a specific focus on improving our art and design studios. Meanwhile, planning continues on our new Science and Health Sciences building as enumerated in the last budget, and I’ll provide updates on that process in a future campus briefing.
I am grateful for Gov. Evers’ continued support for great capital projects across the UW System and state, as many of the facilities impacted are central to a university’s ability to meet its academic mission and support regional workforce development goals. With both parts of the governor’s executive budget proposal now released, the process moves to the state legislature — see my previous blog post for details on the next steps in the budget debate.