Bill to Delay WiscNet Changes Dies

Posted by Lisa Strand on Monday, March 19, 2012 in State Legislation/Initiatives

Despite contacts from library supporters and others around the state, AB 473/ SB 375 (to delay changes to WiscNet) died without being scheduled for a floor vote in either chamber of the state legislature. Therefore, the provisions of the original legislation that passed as part of the 2011-13 biennial budget bill will take effect on July 1, 2013. The exact ramifications of a separation of WiscNet from the UW are not yet clear. An audit of the program by the Legislative Audit Bureau is underway and is required to be completed by January 1, 2013.

Original Post 2/21/12:
AB 473, a bill to delay until July 1, 2014 the restrictions on participation by the UW System in selling or providing telecommunications services (commonly known as the WiscNet bill), was the subject of a public hearing on February 16 in the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities. Chaired by Rep. Stephen Nass (R-Whitewater), who is a cosponsor of the bill, the committee heard from several groups in favor of the bill: UW officials, technical colleges, as well as WEMTA and WLA. Opponents of the bill are telecommunications companies, represented at the hearing by Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association (WSTA) and AccessWisconsin.

The committee will hold its executive session (to vote on the bill) on March 1, a schedule that leaves very little time for getting the bill scheduled and passed by both houses of the legislature. At this writing, the companion bill, SB 375, has not been scheduled for a Senate vote. (It was recommended for passage by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Higher Education on January 23.)

For background information and talking points on the bill, please see our CapWiz legislative alert and contact your legislators to urge passage.

Comments

Brett Monday, March 19, 2012

Man, now I want a ButterBurger and some custard...;^)

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