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


Midwest Music Fest
May 17-18
Oktoberfest Grounds

TedXUWLaCrosse Climate Change Talk
May 18
La Crosse Public Library

MWMF Vintage and Maker's Market
May 18
Oktoberfest Grounds

Successful Aging Program
May 28
Mayo Clinic Maycrest Auditorium

Striding for Mental Wellness
May 29
Health and Human Services Building


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

(608) 266-5780

Toll Free:
(888) 534-0095


Friends and Neighbors,



Since the close of the budget listening sessions, the Joint Finance Committee has convened to begin voting on Governor Evers' 2019-2021 biennial budget. Over the course of the last two weeks, Joint Finance Committee Republicans have begun their executive sessions, have voted to remove 131 budget items, and have voted on the budget items of the following agencies:


Governor’s Budget and Republican Motion to Repeal Items

Educational Communications Board

Medical College of Wisconsin

Historical Society


Lieutenant Governor

Program Supplements

Ethics Commission

Employment Relations Commission

Administration - Division of Gaming

Health Services - Care and Treatment Services

Shared Revenue and Tax Relief - Direct Aid Payments, Forestry Mill Rate

Transportation - State Patrol

Revenue - Departmentwide


Administration - General Agency Provisions

Administration - Facilities

Administration - Housing and Energy

Administration - Transfers

Elections Commission

State Treasurer

Revenue - Lottery Administration

Employee Trust Funds

Board on Aging and Long-Term Care

Board for People with Developmental Disabilities

Safety and Professional Services

Environmental Improvement Fund

Fox River Navigational System Authority

Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board

State Fair Park

Financial Institutions

Shared Revenue and Tax Relief - Property Tax Credits

Shared Revenue and Tax Relief - Property Taxation

Transportation - Motor Vehicles

Transportation – Departmentwide

Higher Educational Aids Board

Wisconsin Technical College System


Military Affairs

Secretary of State

Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority

Labor and Industry Review Commission

Workforce Development – Departmentwide

Workforce Development – Employment and Training

Workforce Development – Unemployment Insurance

Workforce Development – Equal Rights

Health Services – Medicaid Services Administration

Health Services – Public Health

Health Services – Departmentwide and Quality Assurance


A few of the items removed from the budget include Medicaid expansion, extra funding to ensure Wisconsin has an accurate census count, and additional bonding to replace lead pipes and ensure drinkable water in our communities. The Joint Finance Committee could be finished voting in executive sessions as early as June 1st, at which point the budget bill will move for final action in the Legislature.


Keep reading for updates on Women’s Suffrage celebrations in Wisconsin, an update on Tourism week, local resources for homeowners, and a survey for caregivers around the state. 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 RepBillings@legis.wisconsin.gov. 

Best Wishes, 

Jill Billings
State Representative 
95th Assembly District

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Women's Suffrage Centennial Celebration

The Wisconsin Legislature voted to ratify the 19th amendment and legalize a woman’s right to vote on June 10, 1919, making Wisconsin the first state in the union to complete the ratification process. Alongside other legislators, I co-authored, introduced, and unanimously passed Assembly Joint Resolution 30 this session, recognizing June 10, 2019 as the 100th anniversary of this landmark moment.

To recognize this important moment in history, Governor Tony Evers and First Lady Kathy Evers are hosting a Women’s Suffrage Centennial Celebration on June 1st of this year. The celebration will begin at 12pm, and members of the public are encouraged to attend in their suffrage whites. First Lady Kathy Evers, the Honorable Rebecca Kleefisch, and the Honorable Justice Ann Walsh Bradley will speak until 1pm, at which point celebrants are encouraged to witness the unveiling of the original 19th Amendment by Christian Øverland, the Ruth and Hartley Barker Director of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

At 1 pm, women members of the 104th Legislative Session will convene for a public reception, and women’s suffrage artifacts will be on display in the rotunda all day, until 10 pm.

Check out this toolkit of information on the women’s suffrage movement in Wisconsin put together by the Wisconsin Historical Society, and consider coming down to the Capitol on June 10th to celebrate this historic day! I hope to see you there.


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National Travel and Tourism Week


Governor Evers and Secretary-designee Sara Meaney stopped in La Crosse at Island Outdoors for National Travel and Tourism Week last Wednesday! During the celebration, we reflected on insights gained through last year’s strategic planning survey, as well as to recognize the significant economic contributions tourism brings to Wisconsin. According to Economic Impact Research conducted throughout 2018, visitor activity sustained nearly 200,000 jobs in 2018, both directly and indirectly, and approximately 4,500 jobs in La Crosse alone.

Beyond being a significant job creator, tourism in Wisconsin generated $1.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2018. Without this revenue stream, each Wisconsin household would need to pay an additional $680 in order to maintain our current level of government services. Additionally, La Crosse County is ranked 9th in the state for visitor spending, which increased by 5.82% in 2018, totaling $279 million.

As the ranking Democratic member of the Assembly Committee on Tourism, I am so proud of all the hard work Wisconsinites do to contribute to our state’s thriving tourism industry. Thank you to all who continue to make Wisconsin an incredible place to visit and recreate!


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Couleecap Resources for Homebuyers

Many of you are familiar with Couleecap, our local community action program that serves La Crosse, Crawford, Monroe, and Vernon counties, and provides a variety of necessary services to residents of our communities. I had the honor of serving on their Board of Directors as the representative from the La Crosse County Board, so I know firsthand how vital their services are to our region.


The services Couleecap provides to regional residents includes but is not limited to employment and training, business start-up & development assistance, homelessness assistance and prevention, and more. In addition to these services, Couleecap is currently offering up to $7,000 to homebuyers who qualify to use as down payment assistance.


This assistance is offered at a 0% interest rate and is forgiven in five years. Additionally, if a qualified home buyer requires additional assistance to purchase a home, Couleecap offers deferred loans at 0% interest to ensure mortgage affordability. These loans do not require payment until the home is transferred or sold, at which point they are paid back interest-free. For more information on eligibility and other programs, navigate to Couleecap’s homeownership website.


As the cost of housing continues to rise in our state, I wanted to share this resource with those of you who may be looking to purchase a home and require additional assistance to do so.

Caregiver Survey

Are you a family caregiver caring for a loved one or close friend? If so, the Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance (WFACSA) wants to hear about your experiences - and you could win a $100 Visa gift card from Ascension for your participation!


A new statewide survey of Wisconsin family caregivers aims to find out how you access and utilize resources to help you care for your loved one. A few minutes of your time will help state and other caregiver support agencies make it easier for family caregivers to learn about and access supports and services that will help them care for a loved one.


If this definition applies to you, please consider taking this survey!


This survey will take 10- 5 minutes to complete and can be competed anonymously (gift card drawing uses a separate entry). Thanks for sharing your insight, and please feel free to share this opportunity with family, friends and colleagues!

In the Capitol
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 It was wonderful to see some friendly faces in my office for Aging Advocacy Day in the Capitol on Tuesday.


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Women members of the Legislature gathered to celebrate Women's Health this week - thank you to my colleagues for all you do!