Wisconsin Cooperatives Note UW-System Board of Regents Composition Act

Wisconsin Cooperatives Note UW-System Board of Regents Composition Act

Wisconsin cooperative members of Cooperative Network, the all-cooperative trade association in Wisconsin and Minnesota, noted with satisfaction the signing by Governor Walker on Tuesday of SB 28, legislation that will require the appointment to the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System at least one citizen member who resides in each of Wisconsin's congressional districts. The legislation was authored by Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) and Representative Erik Severson (R-Star Prairie).

Under current law, 14 citizen members serve on the Board of Regents. Cooperative Network President and CEO Bill Oemichen commented on Act 89 as follows, "This law will ensure that at least a majority of the citizen members on the UW Board of Regents reflect the geographic diversity of this state, and that will contrast favorably with times when the vast majority of the board has come from only a couple of areas of the state. I appreciate Senator Harsdorf's and Representative Severson's leadership on this sensible and fair proposal."

Cooperative Network was one of only two organizations that registered with the state lobbying office their clear interest in the legislation. In addition, lobbyists for the University of Wisconsin System registered support at the committee hearing on the bill. The initial term of one citizen member representing a congressional district will commence on May 1, 2013, and one will commence each year thereafter on May 1.

Cooperative Network is a leading Wisconsin business association. It serves more than 600 member-cooperatives, owned by more than 6.1 million Minnesota and Wisconsin residents, by providing government relations, education, marketing, and technical services for a wide variety of cooperatives including farm supply, health, dairy marketing, consumer, financial, livestock marketing, telecommunications, electric, housing, insurance, worker-owned cooperatives, and more. For more information about Cooperative Network, visit www.cooperativenetwork.coop .

12.07.2011