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(608) 266-5780 | State Capitol, Room 307 West, P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 |


Conservation Congress
April 8
Onalaska High School

WI Historical Society Forum on New History Museum
April 17
La Crosse Public Library

 National Library Week
April 7
La Crosse Public Library





UW-La Crosse Ultimate Race
Aprill 11
Graff Main Hall, UW-L








State Capitol
Room 307 West
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708

(608) 266-5780

Toll Free:
(888) 534-0095


Friends and Neighbors,



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On Wednesday of last week, a bill I authored, AB 41 – the Safe Harbor Bill – received a public hearing in the Assembly Children and Families Committee. The bill would change state law so that children under the age of 18 cannot be arrested for prostitution.  Children who are most often forced or coerced into providing sexual services should not be arrested as criminals. They are victims, just like any other child who’s been sexually abused, and they should be treated as such. Fifteen different groups delivered over four hours of testimony, sharing compelling arguments and moving stories with members of the committee to express the necessity of passing this legislation.

AB 41 is scheduled to receive an executive vote on April 10th. If it passes out of committee, I am hopeful it will be scheduled on the May Assembly calendar. Thank you to all who came to testify and who have advocated for this bill in previous sessions – your support has been invaluable.

Also in the capitol, the Joint Finance Committee heard agency testimony on Wednesday and Thursday of this week and released the schedule for the four public hearings they’ve scheduled throughout the state. Read on for more information about budget hearings, the workforce development initiatives in the governor’s budget, and local resources available to survivors during this Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns. You can always contact my office by calling (608) 266-5780 or emailing me at Rep.Billings@legis.wi.gov.

Best Wishes, 

Jill Billings
State Representative 
95th Assembly District

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Budget Listening Sessions & Hearings Around the State


As the budget continues to move through the legislative process, there are listening sessions and hearings in the Capitol and all across the state. Yesterday, Senator Shilling and I hosted a budget listening session in La Crosse to provide an overview of the 2019-21 biennial budget and answer questions from our community members. It’s always great to hear from the people we represent and attendees spoke on many issues including transportation, health care, education and driver ID’s for undocumented workers. Thank you to all who turned out!


If you were unable to attend our La Crosse listening session, there are more opportunities to make your voice heard. The governor has announced that he and Lieutenant Governor Barnes will be traveling across the state throughout the next month to hear directly from Wisconsinites about the “People’s Budget,” They want to make sure that this budget reflects your priorities, and that it works to solve the issues that impact our community. Be sure to check the governor’s Facebook page for more information about registering for upcoming listening sessions around the state.


In addition, the Joint Finance Committee is holding public listening sessions in four cities across the state: Janesville, Oak Creek, River Falls, and Green Bay. The River Falls hearing is the closest location to La Crosse. I will be in attendance and I encourage you to come as well. If you have thoughts about the budget’s provisions, this is your opportunity to share them with the representatives and senators who will be voting on the budget in committee. If you’re unable to attend but are still interested in sharing your thoughts, you can also submit written comments to BudgetComments@legis.wisconsin.gov.


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Senator Shilling and I at our listening session in La Crosse.

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Budget Highlight: Workforce Development


Governor Evers’ state budget shows an understanding of the challenges that face working families in Wisconsin. The document includes many fiscal and workforce development initiatives that provide relief for middle class Wisconsinites, including the expansion of FMLA and affordable childcare services, investments in rural broadband, and more. In this newsletter, I wanted to provide an overview of a handful of these workforce development provisions.

Wisconsin’s minimum wage – which currently rests at $7.25/hour – hasn’t increased in 10 years, despite inflation. According to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, the living wage in La Crosse County currently rests at $10.96 for a single adult. Governor Evers budget seeks to close this gap by increasing the minimum wage for general workers to $8.25 (a $1 increase) and then by 75 cents each year until 2023, where the minimum wage will stand at $10.50. At the same time, the governor’s budget restores the prevailing wage law for state and local public works projects, which ensures that workers are not underpaid relative to other workers performing similar work in the area.

In addition to reforming outdated policies and improving workplace flexibility, the governor’s budget also allocates $1 million annually to workforce training, and eliminates the so-called "right to work" law. Repealing “right to work” would allow labor unions and employers to enter into private agreements regarding unionized workers, restoring worker protections and amplifying the voice of labor in negotiating fair employment practices.

I stand behind Governor Evers’ workforce development initiatives for the betterment of all working individuals and families.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month


To kick off the beginning of April, I wanted to take a moment to highlight the resources available to survivors in my district and to emphasize the importance of consent this Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Consent is a healthy, normal, and necessary part of everyday interactions.

As awareness of sexual assault has increased across the country, there has been a spike in initiatives and programs intended to combat it. The issue of sexual assault is still ongoing, and it remains prevalent in communities across Wisconsin. According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, more than 1 in 8 female high school students in La Crosse County reported being sexually assaulted in 2017.

In La Crosse, the Violence Prevention Office at UW-L is a resource for students, while  New Horizons is a shelter intended to provide resources to individuals or families who have experienced domestic or sexual abuse within a 65-mile radius of the city of La Crosse, and offers several public education and awareness services. End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin also offers a multitude of events and trainings on sexual assault in the state.

During this Sexual Assault Awareness Month, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the resources available to survivors in our region. How can you be a support system to help friends, neighbors, and family members who may have experienced sexual trauma? How can you help to prevent sexual assault in our community?



Rep. Billings in the Capitol
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Jared Restel of La Crosse receiving his Eagle Scouts citation.


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It was so wonderful to see my friends with the League of Conservation Voters last week!


Rep. Billings in the District

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Senator Shilling and I at Viterbo University's Public Health Students Forum.