Access Wisconsin Applauds Joint Finance Action on WiscNet

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Tuesday, June 07, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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Access Wisconsin, one of the managing partners of the BadgerNet Converged Network, issued a statement today, applauding Joint Finance Committee Motion 489, which eliminates WiscNet as an office or department of the UW-Madison's Department of Information Technology. Access Wisconsin is a group of smaller, local telecommunications companies that partner with Verizon, AT&T, CenturyTel and KDL to make up the BCN. Read the statement by Access Wisconsin's President and CEO, Mark Weller:http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/110607accessWI_release.pdf...

End of WiscNet? Joint Finance Eliminates UW-Madison WiscNet Office in DoIT

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Monday, June 06, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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TAKE ACTION: WLA's Legislative Alert In addition to requiring the return of federal broadband funds, the Omnibus University of Wisconsin System motion passed Friday (Motion 489) by the state legislature's Joint Committee on Finance included the following provision:"Specify that WiscNet could no longer be a department or office within the UW-Madison Division of Information Technology beginning on July 1, 2012, and delete $1,400,000 PR from the UW System related to WiscNet in 2012-13. Require the Legislative Audit Bureau to conduct a program audit and a financial audit of the Board of Regents' use of telecommunication services and relationship with WiscNet."The note in the motion indicates under current law, the Board of Regents is prohibited from providing telecommunication services that are available from a private telecommunications carrier to the general public or any other public or private entity. Currently, WiscNet services more than 450 public and private research, education and government organizations....
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  • Anonymous says #
    How ironic. Telephone companies weren't even on the playing field in the early 90's, so why do we suddenly need to level the playi...

Joint Finance Reduces Cuts to Municipalities; Eliminates Emergency Services MOE

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Friday, June 03, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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On June 2, the state legislature's Joint Finance Committee voted to eliminate the emergency services maintenance of effort funding requirement and restored some of the shared revenue cuts for counties and municipalities.Omnibus Motion 450, passed on vote of 11-4, provided a net reduction in shared revenue payments of $76,750,000, rather than the reduction of $96,000,000 proposed by Governor Walker. The committee also eliminated the requirement that counties and municipalities maintain their level of spending for emergency services at the 2009 level. This emergency services maintenance of effort law was passed in the prior biennium.Note that the governor had eliminated maintenance of effort funding for public libraries in his budget proposal. Efforts to restore MOE for public libraries have not been successful to date....

Joint Finance Passes Omnibus UW System Motion: No to Separate UW-Madison, Broadband Funds

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Saturday, June 04, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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The Joint Finance Committee tonight passed an Omnibus Motion on the University of Wisconsin System that includes, among other items, the decision to not spin UW-Madison off as a separate public entity and prohibits the system from providing telecommunications services and accepting federal broadband funds. The latter would stop a project underway to expand broadband through Community Area Networks (CANs) to about 80 libraries and schools, among other entities, and return millions to the federal government.WLA pushed for acceptance of an earlier broadband grant of more than $23 million that would have expanded BadgerNet for more than 450 schools and libraries. The state returned that grant earlier this year after the Department of Administration was unable to negotiate an agreement between telecommunications providers and the National Telecommunication and Information Administration. The UW System grant had remained as an opportunity to add capacity for a smaller number of schools and libraries. It...

Joint Finance Restores Funding to Talking Book & Braille Library, State Law Library

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Thursday, June 02, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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The state legislature's Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) is scheduled to meet again today and tomorrow to complete its work on the 2011-13 state budget.On May 26, JFC approved one-time funding of $41,000 to the State Law Library for the purchase of West's National Law Reporter System on CD-ROM. On May 27, the committee also voted 16-0 to restore $183,400 for the Talking Book and Braille Library for the biennium. In action in May 3, the committee voted 16-0 to restore $512,000 to BadgerLink.(Restoration of funding refers to changes to the governor's budget proposal, which proposed 10% cuts to all library-related programs in the first year of the biennium.) Although the State Law Library allocation was provided from general purpose revenue (GPR), other library-related funding is provided via the Universal Service Funds, or SEG funding. Thus far, funding has not been restored for public library systems or the remaining statewide resource...