January 4, 2008

 

Taylor Begins Circulation of Senate Scholars Appropriation

MADISON – Today, Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee) began circulating the Senate Scholars Access and Affordability Act.  The Act appropriates $60,000 in general purpose revenue (GPR) in order to eliminate the fees for the Wisconsin Senate Scholars Program. 

“Senate Scholars is a great thing for Wisconsin,” said Taylor, “and we should do what we can to foster its continued growth.  Eliminating the fee for the program helps ensure that people from all economic backgrounds can take advantage of a wonderful opportunity.”

The Senate Scholars Program is a weeklong educational experience where high school juniors and seniors can immerse themselves in life at the State Capitol.  Scholars spend a week in Madison interacting with legislators, lobbyists, members of the media, and a State Supreme Court Justice.  To help cover program costs, the state assesses each scholar a $250 participation fee.  For some students and their families, the prospect of having to pay the fee is enough to dissuade them from applying.

“Parents and educators have contacted my office to ask about it,” Taylor noted. “They love the idea of the program for their kids and their students, but they’re worried about coming up with the money.  $250 is not a small amount and if we can do something to ease the financial burden on participating families, we should.”

Taylor stressed the program’s long-term benefits for Wisconsin: “This program exposes exceptional students to a set of public service careers that they might not have really considered before.  Getting talented, interested young men and women involved with state government is a great way for Wisconsin to invest in its own future.  The first step in doing so is to make sure that no one is denied the opportunity to participate for financial reasons.”

Senator Taylor’s office will be accepting applications for the 2008 Senate Scholars Program through January 10th.  Interested high school juniors and seniors from the 4th State Senate District should contact Senator Taylor’s office by e-mail ( sen.taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov ) or phone (414-342-7176).