Urge Your Legislator to Support SB 375/AB 473 to Delay WiscNet Changes

Posted by Lisa Strand on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 in State Legislation/Initiatives

You may recall that during the state budget process, language was adopted altering the relationship the University of Wisconsin has with WiscNet, effective July 1, 2013.  The budget bill also required the Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) to complete a financial and performance audit of the UW’s relationship with WiscNet by January 1, 2013. This leaves only six months to respond to audit recommendations before the legislation goes into effect!

The new law will directly impact the relationship WiscNet has with its 450 members located throughout the state, affecting service to K-12 schools, higher education, and 95% of the state’s public libraries. During the extensive budget deliberations there was not enough time to adequately discuss this complex issue.  Many questions remain unanswered.

Fortunately, Senator Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and Representative Evan Wynn (R-Whitewater) have introduced SB375/AB 473 amending the effective date of the original legislation to July 1, 2014. A bipartisan group of legislators is cosponsoring.

Please contact your legislators to urge them to support AB 473. If your legislators have already signed on as co-sponsors, thank them for doing so.  

The modest extension of time this bill will provide is important from two key perspectives.

  • First:  This extension allows the Legislature time to review fully the audit’s findings, recommendations and possible impacts on all WiscNet members.
  • Second:  All 450+ WiscNet members—including the UW—need the extra time this bill provides to understand and possibly implement any audit recommendations that impact their budgets and their relationship with WiscNet. 
It may be important to note that WiscNet is a separate, independent 501(c)(3), not for profit, cooperative, with its own operations and organizational structure.  It is not subsidized by the UW and is completely funded through membership fees and services delivered to its members throughout the state.  Decisions are made by the WiscNet Board of Directors, not the UW.

Thank you for contacting your legislators to urge support of SB375AB 473!
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