For many years there has been an interest in the ever-increasing state funding of corrections (aka “prisons”) and the simultaneous decline in the proportion of state funding of higher education. While there is reasonable debate about whether the state contribution has in fact increased in real dollars or the inestimable value of “stopping crime”, there remains enormous symbolic value in the primacy of being the state function that receives the most money. Its the old, “we’re number one!”
With the announcement of the new round of budget cuts ($65 million for the System, $13 million for Corrections), I reviewed LFB publications to see if indeed the UW is still #1 in the purse, if not the hearts, of Wisconsin.
I found (see table below) that although UWS funding will be $48M greater than that of Corrections (after the cuts), they are not only in the same ballpark, they are almost on the same base. UWS receives 7% of the total share of state funding while Corrections receives 6.8%. The budgetary trend lines of the two agencies have nearly merged because the budget reduction of UW is four times greater (as a percent of their budget) than that imposed on Corrections.
With additional inequitable budget reductions probable due to inflated revenue estimates, will Badger fans yell, “We’re Number Two! We’re Number Two!”
|Budget||% of Total State Budget||% of Agency Budget|
|Department of Corrections|
|Budget||% of Total State Budget||% of agency budget|