State Relations

Take Action for the UW

On September 21, the 2017–19 Wisconsin state budget was signed into law by Governor Walker. The budget was nearly three months late: its due date was July 1. Included in the budget is the following:

  • $50 million increase in funding for the UW System, and another $31 million in funds directly tied to performance metrics
  • Continued tuition freeze from previous budgets
  • 2% wage increase for UW faculty in each year of the biennium

Investments in students, faculty, and facilities are what make a great university a world-class university. As governor two decades ago, I proudly invested in knowledge and research—and the return on that investment continues across campus.Governor Tommy Thompson

Additional funding will be provided for the following programs:

  • Carbone Cancer Center to expand its precision medicine program
  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia research
  • School of Medicine and Public Health for its rural Physician residency assistance program
  • Tommy G. Thompson Center for Public Leadership

The following capital projects were approved as well:

  • $23.6 million for Lot 62 by the veterinary medicine building
  • $32.7 million for Lathrop Drive utility project

At a Crossroads

For more than 160 years, the state of Wisconsin and its flagship university have worked together to improve life for all Wisconsinites.

The Wisconsin Idea is alive and well, but it still needs your support. Facing declining state funds and rising educational costs, UW—Madison is at a crossroads. While the state once contributed more than 40% of our budget, today it provides just 15%. We have relentlessly pursued costs savings and efficiencies across campus, from facilities to administration to IT to personnel. But it’s not enough. In order to continue providing a world-class education for Wisconsin families, we need a reinvestment from the state.

The state’s generous support of the university built a world-renowned institution with a global footprint right in our own backyard. For the future students across this state — and for the future of this state — reinvest in UW.

Learn More

University Basics

A crash course on the issues.

UW 2017 Budget Talking Points

Talking points on how to support UW-Madison during the 2017 budget cycle. Learn more at

The UW Budget in Brief

Revenue and how it’s distributed.

Learn more about lifesaving research and the use of fetal tissue

Research using fetal tissue contributes to the fight against a long list of illnesses, including asthma, birth defects, cancer, heart failure, and Alzheimer’s disease.

For questions or more information, contact Mike Fahey at 608-308-5110.

Federal Relations

Federal Relations

Congress is currently debating and revising legislation to reform the tax code. At the present, the legislation includes a number of provisions related to higher education that will have adverse effects on college affordability. Some of these provisions include:

  • Repealing the student loan interest deduction, which lowers one’s taxable income if they are repaying student loans.
  • Taxing waived college tuition for students who work for their college. Currently, this waiver is not treated as taxable income.
  • Reducing benefits from the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which offers lower income families an annual credit for each child enrolled in college. It will, however, extend the credit into a fifth year.
  • Ending a similar credit, call the Lifetime Opportunity Credit, which offers a tax credit to low income students attending college for more than 5 years, who are paying for themselves.
  • Repealing an exclusion that allows tax-free assistance with tuition up to $5250.

Below is more information provided by the American Council on Education:

Unfortunately, the House-passed bill would repeal the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) without substantially increasing the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) (Sec. 1002); repeal the Student Loan Interest Deduction (SLID) (Sec. 1204); repeal the qualified tuition reduction (Sec. 117 (d)); and repeal educational assistance programs (Sec. 127). The proposed changes to these benefits would be a large step backwards, not an improvement, for many students and their families who benefit under current law. Thankfully, the Senate bill retains the current law version of these education benefits that help millions of middle- and lower-income students and families to finance and repay their college educations. We urge the conference committee to follow the Senate’s approach by not making any changes to these education benefits in the final tax bill.

Both the House and Senate bills include an unprecedented and misguided excise tax on investment income of certain private colleges and universities. While the Senate bill reduces the overall number of institutions potentially affected by the proposed excise tax, both approaches will take away critical funds that colleges and universities otherwise would devote to student financial aid, student services like career counseling and internships, instruction and support, and medical research. In fact, both approaches would send the tax revenue generated directly to the U.S. Treasury rather than ensure those funds are directed to helping students and patients. Thus we believe the concept of a tax on college endowments is fundamentally flawed and urge that any final legislation remove this tax entirely. Moreover, these provisions would set a disastrous precedent – eventually, less well-resourced private institutions and public institutions could be made subject to the tax, too. If the conference committee ultimately chooses to include a provision affecting endowments, we urge Congress to consider alternatives that do not impose an unprecedented tax that takes much-needed resources away from students, teaching, and medical research, among other educational activities.

For more information

Email your legislators and ask them to support affordable higher education

The House and Senate are currently debating comprehensive tax reform legislation that covers an array of sectors. However, many of the provisions related to higher education will have clear negative impacts on students and families trying to afford a college degree. Let your officials know you support tax codes that make higher education more accessible!

Stay informed

Stay Informed

Recent News

Stay up-to-date on the issues facing the UW. Below you’ll find recent articles and reports from the press and the university.

Take Part in UW–Madison Day in Madison

Let you legislators know you support UW—Madison! On April 11, advocates from around the state are meeting with their legislators at the state capitol to let them know they care about UW—Madison and a number of the university’s legislative priorities. Join the movement by reaching out to your representatives!

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US Capitol in Washington, DC

Take Part in UW–Madison Day in DC

On March 14, advocates from across the country are meeting with their members of Congress to let them know they care about UW–Madison and a number of issues affecting higher education.

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