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APRIL 22, 2013                                             

Rep. Kapenga              608-266-3007

Rep. Klenke                 608-266-0485

Rep. Kooyenga            608-266-9180

Rep. Marklein              608-266-7502


Discovery of UW Surplus made after meeting with Legislative Fiscal Bureau

MADISON--A memo by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau released on Friday revealed that the University of Wisconsin System had cash reserves of $648 million at the end of the last fiscal year. These reserves were discovered after the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) Caucus questioned discrepancies found in a state report during a meeting with analysts at the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.


The UW System has 181,000 students at 26 campuses. Between 2009 and 2012, tuition for UW System schools was rising at 5.5%, generating an additional $35 million.


“As a graduate of the UW-Whitewater, I know firsthand that investing in higher education is important for the future of our state. However, I want to ensure taxpayer resources are used wisely and the institutions receiving these funds are held accountable. I believe we need to reassess the Governor’s budget recommendation of a $181 million increase for the UW System and at a minimum, implement a two-year tuition freeze. It is unfair to ask taxpayers and the families, who are faced with rising tuition every school year, to pay more when such a large surplus of funding exists,” said Rep. Marklein. 


“I am concerned that the UW System has sheltered the existence of these assets from the Legislature. We will be taking action to further study the UW System to ensure that they are good stewards of tuition dollars and taxpayer funding from GPR (general purpose revenue),” commented Rep. Kooyenga.


“We need to take a serious look at the $181 million UW System budget and the several building projects requested with state bonding help. Still, the first reaction should not be to spend any dollars that may be reallocated. It’s important to pay down our debt and continue to reduce taxes and fees,” explained Rep. Klenke.


“The finding proves that it’s time for increased transparency to not only the taxpayers, who subsidize the UW system, but to the students who are the end customer.  If I were being charged this amount of money for a service, I would want to know where my money is going.  This is why we are looking into ways to increase accountability in the UW system,” concluded Rep. Kapenga.


Governor Walker and Republicans in the legislature have called for a two year freeze on tuition. The UW System continues to dispute the actual dollar amount of the surplus after budget commitments.


About the CPA Caucus – The CPA caucus is a group of four legislators dedicated to identifying cost savings, reducing Wisconsin’s debt burden, and promoting honest, budgetary accounting principles.


Members:           Rep. Chris Kapenga (99th)

     Rep. John Klenke (88th)

                        Rep. Dale Kooyenga (14th) 

                        Rep. Howard Marklein (51st)



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