Wisconsin Senator introduces ag Short Course funding bill
State funding to re-start the Farm and Industry Short Course might happen yet this year.
State Senator Joan Ballweg tells Brownfield, “I’ve introduced a bill that has just gone out for co-sponsorship.” The bill would provide an increase to the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents by nearly 148 thousand dollars this fiscal year and 225 thousand dollars next fiscal year to help the program’s new home, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls get the program re-established. “We’re looking to get this done as soon as possible. Hopefully, we’ll be able to have public hearings on it later in the summer and get it through the Legislature when we come back again in September.”
Ballweg says several legislators had concerns about the university’s planned spending, so much of their funding was cut in the state budget signed a week ago. She says that makes this stand-alone bill necessary to fund the short course. She encourages the ag community to ask their lawmakers to support this bill. “It is important to River Falls as they expand the program, do some instructional components, actual infrastructure, and instructors themselves that are going to be part of this program.”
Ballweg says similar funding bills are likely to support the UW Hygiene Lab in Madison and the papermaking program at UW-Stevens Point.
The bill has not yet been assigned a number but has a Legislative Reference Bureau number of LRB-3773/1.