Walker pitches UW tuition cut during Eau Claire stop

Governor Scott Walker elaborated on his promise to cut undergraduate tuition for the UW-System while visiting the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport Wednesday for his State of the State Tour.

"We don't want to just give a blank check", Walker said of the state money he will propose for universities in his budget address next month.

But some UW System leaders say Walker's proposal puts them in a hard spot in terms of funding after the last biennial budget's major cuts. Walker also mentioned improving the state's infrastructure.

UWGB seniors Ebanie Schmidt and Brittany Gunka say high-performing universities are the result of strong state funding.

UW-Stevens Point Vice Chancellor Greg Summers tells Newsline 9 that some faculty members are a bit uneasy about where the cuts may be coming from if not funded by the state.

"We'll be paying for it, so it will not come out of the base of the UW system budget", said Walker.

"Then on top of that we're going to put additional money in the budget, but we're going to tie it into performance", Gov.

Walker said a good example of a school that meets or exceeds performance expectations is UW-Stout.

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"(Democrats) have been staunch advocates for public education and dollars going into our public schools for instruction, but we haven't seen that", Shilling said. "Even at the height of the recession, they had about a 97% placement rate of their graduates being employed". We are still working our way through that cut, which amounted to $5.3 million a year, without reducing educational quality. "We continue to hear the need out there".

Walker said his push for affordable education makes the Badger State stand out in the nation.

Walker considers lifting UW tuition freezeGov.

"In many regards, we will be at the forefront leading on this", Walker said.

Some legislative leaders praised Governor Walker, but they also wanted more details. He also said toll roads would not be in the next budget, but he wouldn't rule it out in the future.

That would make Governor Walker's total investment in broadband $52 million.

Public Service Commissioner Ellen Nowak joined Walker in Eau Claire and La Crosse Wednesday morning and said her agency had already helped 20,000 people and 600 businesses across the state gain access to the internet since the grant programs started in 2013.

"For instance, housing costs around campus have been increasing", she said.