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




La Crosse Budget Listening Session
April 4
Police Station #2




Conservation Congress
April 8

Onalaska High School



Veteran's Benefit Bonanza
March 28

Radisson Hotel La Crosse


Wisconsin Curiosity Challenge 

Send a postcard to my office address listed below! 












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

(608) 266-5780

Toll Free:
(888) 534-0095


Friends and Neighbors,

In the past few weeks since the governor introduced his 2019-2020 budget, Secretary-designees have moved through their confirmation hearings, committees have continued to vote on bills, and advocacy groups have met with members around the Capitol on behalf of their issues and communities. As the Joint Finance Council continues to deliberate on the governor’s budget, members of the Legislature have begun to coordinate listening sessions in their districts.

I’m excited to announce that Senator Shilling and I have organized a budget listening session in La Crosse, so we can meet with and hear from you! The listening session will be held on Thursday, April 4th, at Police Station #2, located at 713 James Street in La Crosse. Senator Shilling and I will highlight key pieces of the governor’s budget, at which time there will be time for public comment. Please consider attending and learning more about this exciting framework for our state!

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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.

Please continue reading for brief local and statewide updates.

Best Wishes, 

Jill Billings
State Representative 
95th Assembly District

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Building Commission Votes on Capital Budget Items

I am a member of the State Building Commission and serve as the Chair of its Higher Education subcommittee.

Yesterday, the State Building Commission convened to vote on Governor Evers’ 2019-2021 capital budget. The capital budget prioritized fixing aging state facilities, revamping university science buildings, establishing a new standard for juvenile corrections, creating an economic-generator hub in rural Wisconsin, and promoting tourism. It also included four vital projects on the UW-La Crosse campus: completing Phase II of the Prairie Springs Science Center, renovations to Coate, Sandford and Graff Main Hall, and construction of a new fieldhouse. Estimates suggest that, if enacted, this capital budget alone would have created over 40,000 jobs statewide and $4.5 billion in economic activity.

Unfortunately, the Republican members of the commission voted against all of the Governor’s recommendations, taking 84 individual 4-4 party line votes, moving the capital budget forward to the Joint Finance Committee with zero affirmative recommendations from the commission. Never before has the capital budget moved forward without recommendations from the Building Commission.

I voted in favor of the items enumerated in the proposed capital budget, as I believe the Governor’s plan made vital, strategic investment in our state infrastructure, and wherever possible leveraged public-private partnerships. After years of deferred maintenance or delaying essential projects, it’s necessary to address the infrastructure needs of our state.

However, this is not the end of the road, as projects can still be added to the final budget by members of the Joint Finance Committee. I’ll be working with my legislative colleagues to add these essential UW-L projects as the budget process moves forward.

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Healthy Women, Healthy Babies

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, I want to highlight Governor Evers “Healthy Women, Healthy Babies” 2019-2020 budget initiatives. These initiatives are a part of the governor’s broader “Healthy Communities” program, and are a necessary step toward expanding health services for women and infants, improving birth outcomes, providing critical preventative care, and reducing racial disparities in healthcare for Wisconsin women across the state. Especially exciting to me are the governor’s proposed investments in home visiting programs – which have continuously proven to be effective – as well as allocations for neonatal and post-partum services, like doula services and the establishment of an Infant Mortality Program. Beyond these state programs, Governor Evers budget also recognizes that more than four million American women rely on federally-funded programs for affordable contraception and other reproductive health care, and he restores federal funding for these services.

I believe that all people should have access to quality and affordable healthcare, so I am proud to support a budget that works to close disparities across our state. The governor’s “Healthy Women, Healthy Babies” initiatives mark an important and exciting change in the state’s attitude towards women’s issues and will help to restore access to care for thousands of Wisconsin women. As the budget process moves forward I urge my Republican colleagues to support these initiatives and to remember that the well being of our citizens should not be a partisan issue.

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Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Tourism


Last weekend, the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism (otherwise known as WIGCOT) commenced at the Kalahari in the Wisconsin Dells. As the ranking member on the Tourism committee, I was excited to join Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney in kicking off what is sure to be a great tourism campaign this legislative session.  

During the conference, Secretary-designee Meaney spoke about the governor’s tourism budget, and highlighted the governor’s belief that a robust tourism industry in every corner of the state is connected to a continued responsibility to our precious natural resources and a healthy respect for our common outdoor interests. Embedded in the governor’s budget is a plan to extend funding for the Knowles-Nelson fellowship and provide additional funding for State Parks to keep up with record attendance and popularity. The budget also includes a new Office of Outdoor Recreation as well as the enumeration of an outdoor specialist. Secretary-designee Meaney explained the role of the newly established specialist as focusing on bringing tourists and tourism dollars from outside of the state into Wisconsin, creating jobs and growing local economies, uniting communities and promoting active lifestyles, and ensuring access to healthy public lands and waters.

While in attendance at the Governor’s Conference of Tourism, I also learned about the Wisconsin Curiosity Challenge, which I am now issuing to all of you: as our state continues to warm up and spring dawns, I encourage you to explore with curiosity, and go someplace you’ve never been before! Summarize your experience and send a postcard to my office, and I’ll forward it on to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. They’ll be on display at next year’s WIGCOT!

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Secretary-designee Meaney at WIGCOT.

Meetings in Madison




Got a chance to thank Donald Driver for starring in our latest Tourism commercial.


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Saw Dave Ring (representing Kwik Trip, a sponsor for the Tourism conference) and Sherry Quamme (representing the Mississippi River Parkway Commission) at WIGCOT!




Voces de la Frontera came to the Capitol last week to advocate for driver licenses for all.