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

Posted by Lisa Strand on Saturday, June 04, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
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 is possible that further amendments to the budget bill will occur on the floor of the legislature after Joint Finance completes its work. Stay tuned!

You can read more about Joint Finance activities on the WisPolitics Budget Blog or view proceedings live (or archived) at WisconsinEye.
Comment disabled by author.