Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is upset with the University of Wisconsin (UW) System, and says Governor Scott Walker may be proposing to give the University too much budget flexibility this year.
At the Milwaukee Press Club, Representative Vos was asked for his key disagreements with the state budget proposed by Walker. Vos claims the UW has wasted too much money over the last two years by trying to set up a new payroll system, and wrongly paid out some pension and health benefits.
"So while Governor Walker wants to give more flexibility to the university, I think they have not proven to me that they are ready for the task, because every time we continue to see an opportunity for them to show us why they are good stewards of taxpayer dollars, they seem to blow it."
Vos says he wants to see more specific budget language from the governor, and says he is willing to try to bring together Assembly Republicans and Walker on the topic of the UW. University officials have been praising the Walker budget, but UW System spokesman David Giroux says he is not surprised to hear Representative Vos criticizing the human resources and payroll system.
"We have a lot of work there to do, not only in rectifying the problems with the system, but also demonstrating that we are on top of this issue and that we deserve to be trusted, not only with people's taxpayer money, but with the flexibility that we secured last time in the budget, and the additional flexibility that Governor Walker's proposing for this time around."
Giroux says most of the wrongly spent pension and health money has been recovered, and that the UW is getting its arms around the payroll and benefits problems. State lawmakers will be debating the governor's budget plan over the next few months.