MADISON- On Wednesday, University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross requested that the Wisconsin Legislature convene a special session to respond to the urgent financial and planning needs of the UW System that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) issued the following statement in response:

“The UW System is facing steep challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I appreciate President Cross’ call for a special session. I have already requested that the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee meet to discuss the challenges our higher education institutions are facing, and I believe the Legislature must act to ensure the solvency and sustainability of our 26 campuses.

“Last month, I was proud to lead a bipartisan coalition of legislators in sending a letter to Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation requesting additional federal funds. This was after Assembly Democrats tried to amend the COVID-19 relief bill before us in April to provide $59 million in state funds to the UW System based on their projected needs. Since the amendment failed on a party-line vote, now the Legislature must work together moving forward to support the UW System as it manages significant deficits across campuses.

“The Wisconsin Idea cannot be abandoned, and we must work together to marshal resources at this pivotal time for higher education. I hear and appreciate the call for immediate action and stand ready to work with my colleagues from both parties to act and support our faculty, staff, and students in this difficult time.”

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