Friday, June 17, 2011

Wisconsin Senate Passes Budget (Same Version as Assembly)

Follow-up for Wisconsin library advocates:

Message to Senate Republicans:   Thank you for supporting the broadband/WiscNet compromise language in the budget bill recently passed by the Senate.   I would very much appreciate it you let the Governor know of your support and encourage him to keep this language as approved by the Assembly and the Senate in the budget that he signs into law.  (This message may also be used as as follow-up with Assembly Republicans.)

Message to Senate Democrats.   Thank you for past support and understanding of library issues during the budget process.  The WiscNet compromise as it now stands is acceptable.

No differences to resolve, no need for a conference committee.  ("Clean" version of flow chart.)

The question remains:   How might Walker's veto power muck up the works?  (A question I can't answer to my own satisfaction at this time.)

Here's  the Legislative Fiscal Bureau analysis:   

Note:  Anything deleted by the Legislature cannot be restored by the Governor.  However, anything specified or created or otherwise provided is subject to his veto powers.

Federal Broadband Grant:
Delete the Joint Finance provision prohibiting that Board of Regents, the UW System, any  UW institution, or the UW-Extension from receiving or expending funds related to the Building Community Capacity through Broadband (BCCB) grant that was awarded to the UW-Extension.  The Board of Regents, the UW System, any UW institution, or the UW-Extension would not be prohibited from participating in the BCCB project and would not be penalized for committing or distributing funds related to the project after May 1, 2011. 
Specify that UW-Extension could  not commit any funds to facilities under this project to which such funds were not committed prior to June 15, 2011, unless approved by the Joint Committee on Finance.

Delete the provision approved  by Joint Finance that would have prohibited WiscNet from  remaining an office or department within the UW-Madison Division of Information Technology beginning on July 1, 2012, and restore the related funding ($1,400,000 PR in 2012-13).  

Modify the requirement that the Legislative Audit Bureau conduct a program audit and a financial audit of the Board of Regents' use of telecommunications services and relationship with WiscNet as follows: (a) require the Legislative Audit Bureau to prepare a financial and performance evaluation audit of the use of broadband services by the Board of Regents instead of requiring program and financial audits of the Board's use of telecommunications services as under Joint Finance; (b) specify that the audit would examine issues of statutory compliance, competition, cost shifting, financing, collaboration, and access when considering the current structure and possible recommendations going forward; and (c) require that the Legislative Audit Bureau file its report under this section by January 1, 2013.    

Specify that language approved by Joint Finance prohibiting the Board of Regents, UW  institutions, and the UW-Extension from becoming or remaining a member, shareholder, or partner in or with any company, corporation, nonprofit association, joint venture, cooperative, partnership, or consortium that offers, resells, or provides telecommunications services to the general public or to any public or private entity other than the  system, an institution, a college campus, or the extension, would not take effect until July 1, 2013.   Specify that the Joint Committee on Finance could act to further delay the effective date of those changes.   In addition create an exemption allowing the Board of Regents, UW institutions, and the UW-Extension to become or remain a member, shareholder, or partner in or with such an entity if one of the following conditions is met: (a) the entity does not offer, resell, or provide telecommunications services that it did not offer, resell, or provide on June 15, 2011, and the entity does not offer,  resell, or provide telecommunications services to a private entity, to the general public, or to a public entity, other than a university or university-affiliated research facility or a facility approved by Joint Finance, that the entity was not serving on June 15, 2011;  or (b) the entity is comprised entirely of universities and university-affiliated research facilities.   

Under another provision, UW-Extension would be prohibited from committing any funds to facilities under the BCCB project to which such funds were not committed prior to June 15, 2011, unless approved by the Joint Committee on Finance.

Telecommunications Services  
Delete the phrase "directly or indirectly" added by the Joint Finance Committee to the language prohibiting the Board of Regents from offering, reselling, or providing telecommunications services that are available  from a private telecommunications carrier to the general public or to any other public or private entity.  The language added by the Joint Finance Committee defining telecommunications services would be retained.  

Provide that the Department of Administration could provide BadgerNet services to hospitals. 

Related WiscNet posts:
Amendment update.    (6/16/2011)
Assembly passes budget at 3:05 a.m.  (6/16/2011)
Wispolitics budget blog.  (6/15/2011)
Wisconsin ranks 43rd for broadband Internet coverage.  (6/15/2011)
Ron Kind news release.  (6/15/2011)
Assembly 8.  (6/15/2011)
Highest level alert.  (6/15/2011)
This is what democracy looks like.  (6/15/2011)
WSTA's day of disappointment.  (6/14/2011)
They can hear us now.  (6/14/2011)
Appleton Post-Crescent editorial.  (6/14/2011)
YouTube video.  (6/14/2011)
Hedberg Public Library promotes WiscNet.  (6/14/2011)
League of Wisconsin Municipalities press release.  (6/14/2011)
UW General Counsel opinion.  (6/13/2011)
Ars Technica WiscNet coverage.  (6/13/2011)
Wausau Daily Herald editorial.  (6/13/2011)
If your representative is Robin Vos...   (9/13/2011)
Baraboo School Board unhappy with JFC WiscNet action.  (6/13/2011)
WiscNet debate from the NE WI prospective.  (6/12/2011)
David Weinhold letter to editor.  (6122010
Rep. Moelpske's statement. (6/11/2011)
COLAND letter to Sen. Fitzgerald.  (6/10/2011)
Rhonda Puntney's op-ed piece.  (6/10/2011)
Nass letter to Fitzgerald and Vos.  (6/9/2011)
CINC response.  (6/9/2011)
UW response.  (6/9/2011)
Manna from heaven.  (6/8/2011)

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