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After a couple of delays the long-awaited two year state budget from governor Walker should be out this week. The governor last week moved the delivery of his budget address to March first--tomorrow. La Crosse mayor Matt Harter says he doesn't know any details. But he's got a pretty good idea in general what to expect. Cuts in shared revenue and plenty of them. That's, after all, part of the message that Scott Walker campaigned on in his run for governor.
Harter has already said that he'll look at police and fire budgets for significant cost savings if the city's budget faces a shortfall from the state.
Among the empty storefronts in La Crosse, several in a row seem to stand out more than others. Those storefronts comprise the empty ground floor of the new Grand River Station downtown. From Downtown Mainstreet, director Tim Kabat believes the business search for the building is heading in the right direction. He says the developer has had several inquiries for the space and his organization is also working to find either new businesses to locate at the bus depot or existing businesses that want to expand into the high profile spot.
Recently Grand River Station developers had requested a rent break from the city because of the lack of interested renters for the business space. The building opened officially last August.
One area Republican broke ranks with his party when the Assembly passed Governor Walker's budget plan today.
Lee Nerison of Vernon County was among a handful of Republicans voting 'no' on the bill, which has been widely criticized for taking away some collective bargaining rights of state workers. Nerison cast one of 17 'no' votes, while 28 other lawmakers did not vote...including La Crosse Democrat Jennifer Shilling. The bill moves to the Senate, but no vote can be taken until 14 Democratic Senators return from Illinois.
March 17th on the Lacrosse school calendar was an off day for students and teachers. Not anymore.
The board voted last night to allow that day as the replacement day from 2 weeks ago when teachers called in mass to use a sick day.....which then shut the district down. The sick day was used so some teachers could head to Madison to protest Governor Scott Walkers budget repair bill that would squeeze collecting bargaining rights.
Superintendent Jerry Kember says they will be open for business.......though it is a non paid day for staff.
The vote passed 6-3
The Coulee Region Humane Society is using the flooding from 3 years ago as an example as to why they have been searching for funds to get an emergency plan in place.
Director Heath Schmid says better communcation and what do when the power goes out at the humane society are two critical areas of their emergency plan.........which will now be funded by a $3800 grant given to them by the Lacrosse Community Foundation this week.
Seven other agencies also received grants from the La Crosse Community Foundation.