The incoming Speaker of the State Assembly hinted today that the University of Wisconsin might pay a price for decisions to cancel classes when the President visited Madison. Shawn Johnson reports.
Speaker-elect Robin Vos was asked about several areas of the state budget at a Wispolitics forum, but it was the UW's budget where Vos was most emphatic. The Burlington Republican said the UW, "continued to make mistake after mistake" referencing decisions to cancel some classes on two days when President Obama campaigned in Madison, "I think that's a clear indicator to me that the people at the university just don't get it. And they are going to have a hard time with this budget if they have that sort of an attitude.
Because there are many priorities that we can put our resources into and if they have time and the effort to be able to say we're just going to cancel classes whenever some politician comes to town, it doesn't give me a whole lot of hope that they need more money."
Vos told reporters afterward it would be just one of many factors lawmakers consider as they weigh budget decisions. But Assembly Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca called Vos' comments disturbing, "To slash their funding as sort of a veiled threat because they accommodated the President of the United States is just outrageous to me."
Governor Scott Walker will likely introduce his two-year budget for the UW and other agencies sometime in February. Lawmakers will then review the proposal for several months led by Republican majorities in both houses.