Wisconsin Covenant Program Is Ok.....For Now
High school seniors who signed the Wisconsin Covenant Pledge need to realize the program is not a victim of state budget cuts. Jamin Whitman, UW-La Crosse’s new Wisconsin Covenant Coordinator, says the program is full steam ahead for the initial class who signed the covenant as eighth graders and entering college this fall.
She says it’s important for high school seniors who signed the pledge four years ago to realize they must take action by April 1st. To be recognized as a Covenant Scholar and to receive grant money, students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a Wisconsin Covenant Confirmation Form by April 1st. Approved scholars will receive at least $250 for each of the next four years, with potential for more depending on financial need.
While the program is set to expire under the governor’s current budget proposal, Whitman says current eighth graders are still eligible, but they must sign the pledge by September 30th.
Whitman says along with providing financial aid, the Wisconsin Covenant program at UW-La Crosse will provide other assistance when the scholars arrive on campus. The services include:
• Referrals to appropriate campus resources
• Workshops on transitioning to college and overall success
• Financial literacy opportunities
• Community service experiences
• Social and cultural activities
• Communication with families.
Complete details on the program are at: wisconsincovenant.wi.gov
Treasurer: Be Done With My Office
In Wisconsin, you won't find long lists of people who have run for office with the intention of getting rid of that office. But that's what Kurt Schuller promised as he campaigned for the office of State Treasurer. And that's what he intends to do. Schuller's drafted a constitutional amendment that will cut his office and that of the Secretary of State. The constitutional amendment process will require two consecutive legislatures to agree before it heads to a statewide ballot. Schuller's confident the measure will pass because the time has passed since either office has duties that justify having constitutional officer status. Current Secretary of State Doug LaFollette is not as enthused about the proposal as Schuller.
Flooding of Biblical Proportions? Not Quite
You can probably put those ark building plans on hold. At least for now. The National Weather Service is backing off its worst case scenario flooding forecasts for the Mississippi River at La Crosse for the time being. Flood stage at La Crosse is 12 feet. The weather service is predicting a crest of somewhere 13 and 14.5 feet in the first week of April. The almost near certainty of some sort of flooding keeps the Mississippi as well as the Black and Kickapoo Rivers in a flood warning.
City Council to Consider Contract Extensions
Long union contract extensions in front of the La Crosse city council Thursday. A response to a new law governing collective bargaining for public workers in the state. City council member Marilyn Wigdahl says the extensions are the right thing to do. It will be her committee that's the first to vote on the contracts followed shortly after by the entire city council. Votes today are on revisions to a transit workers contract extension that's already been agreed on and a new two year contract extension for the city's largest union over which talks began last week.
Plenty Of Parking Over Here
Will more signs get drivers to use the parking ramps in La Crosse?
The idea is being discussed, following a survey showing there are hundreds of empty spaces in the downtown ramps on the average weekday. Downtown Mainstreet director Tim Kabat says the city might need to consider putting electronic signs inside the ramps, to tell drivers how many open spaces are available at any given time. City leaders are talking about ways to get more people who work downtown to park in the ramps instead of on the street.