This week the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) approved our full request of $177.2 million for UWM’s proposed 2019-21 capital budget, now sending it on to the full legislature for consideration. I thank the JFC members and other legislators for their support, as well as the business, community and campus members, alumni and friends who have advocated strongly for UWM’s important needs. The JFC vote is a vital development and significant endorsement of our students and institution.
The JFC approved:
- $129.5M to construct a new chemistry building;
- $40.7M in infrastructure repairs to the main campus student union; and
- $7M for an annex to the Klotsche Center to improve student recreation and sports offerings.
The chemistry building would be paid with state tax dollars. The Union and Klotsche annex projects are funded through segregated fees already being collected. Neither project will result in future increases to student segregated fees.
These construction and renovation projects will provide improved educational offerings and lab space for students in science, technology, engineering and math fields, as well as enhanced spaces for students’ meeting, study, social, recreational and sports activities.
Overall, the JFC approved $1.9B in construction and building projects for the state, with over half going to UW System campuses.
The JFC vote is a significant milestone. We appreciate the support from both sides of the political aisle to invest in improving our facilities. However, more steps remain before final approval. The next stages involve debate by the State Assembly and Senate, followed by a vote by the full legislature and then the Governor.
We can’t take our foot off the gas pedal and will continue our advocacy efforts with legislators and our collaboration with community partners who support UWM and our budget requests. I encourage you to do the same by contacting your state legislators to express why UWM deserves investment. You can find your state legislators on our Panther Advocates website, and resources on the UWM State Budget Information website. As always, please remember to use personal resources including non-work time when engaging in the budget process, as explained in the UW System rules regarding engaging in political activity. Thank you for your participation in the state budget process on behalf of UWM.
I am extremely proud of your accomplishments and track record. The JFC vote signifies recognition of the value of UWM to our students, region, the state and beyond. With our collective advocacy, we can help to bring home a fully-funded capital budget for UWM.
Mark A. Mone
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee