The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL), chaired by State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, announced a voluntary cut of at least 5% to its operating budget for this fiscal year. This cut was made in an effort to contribute to the state budget which has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Wisconsinites are feeling the economic impact of this public health crisis, and the state is no exception,” said State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. “This is an all hands on deck effort to help get on top of the state budget. I’m proud that effective management of our costs will allow us to do our part.”
The BCPL manages $1.2 billion in school trust fund assets, which is the nearly-sole source of funding for Wisconsin public school libraries. This year, the Common School Fund made a record distribution of $38.2 million to public school libraries. When COVID-19 forced students to learn from home, the BCPL stepped up to make a special distribution of $5.25 million to help librarians and school districts address the digital divide.
“As one of the oldest state agencies in Wisconsin, we believe it is important we do our part during this challenging time,” said Executive Secretary Tom German. “The BCPL exists to serve our beneficiaries and we will continue to serve them at the highest level while making this contribution to support Wisconsin.”
The voluntary cut is expected to total around $90,000. The cut will impact procurements of due diligence reports, software, appraisals for land bank transactions, and road work on trust lands for upcoming timber sales. The BCPL has consistently stepped up to provide funding for schools, municipalities, and our communities, and this voluntary budget cut is yet another way the BCPL continues to support the financial wellbeing of Wisconsin during these difficult times.