With the passage of the state budget, a collective sigh of relief

We can breathe a collective sigh of relief at the news that the Legislature passed at $57.2 billion biennial budget on Tuesday. Chancellor John D. Wiley issued the following statement on the budget agreement on Oct. 24: “I want to applaud Gov. Jim Doyle, the Democrats in the Senate and Assembly, and the Republicans in both houses who worked hard to bring these deliberations to a conclusion.

“I appreciate those who value higher education and who truly believe in the art of compromise. I also want to thank the thousands of students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends who advocated tirelessly on our behalf.

“This budget contains major victories for the university in student financial aid, faculty retention and the capital budget. Most importantly, this budget reverses a six-year trend of significant reductions in state support, and reflects agreement among far-sighted Democrats and Republicans on the importance this university holds for the people of the state.

“We will continue to do the very best we can to serve the needs and interests of Wisconsin.”

According to an article in the Wisconsin State Journal, the budget includes is an estimated $62 million increase for UW-Madison to cover rising salaries and utilities, growth in nursing and teaching programs, and a fund to retain talented professors, and $253 million in building projects for UW-Madison, including replacing Union South and renovating Memorial Union’s Theatre Wing.