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(608)266-5780 | State Capitol, Room 307 West, P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 | rep.billings@legis.wi.gov

 

COMMUNITY EVENTS:

Cameron Park Farmer's Market
Saturday, August 15 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Cameron Park (MAP)
 

Pla-Mor Lanes 16th Anniversary Cornhole Tournament
Sunday, August 16 at 11:30 a.m.

Pla-Mor Lanes (MAP)
 

Moon Tunes at Riverside Park
Thursday, August 20 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Featuring The Executives & Classic Car Show

Riverside Park (MAP)

 

A Taste of the Garden:

(Fundraiser for LAX Hunger Task Force)

Thursday, August 20 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Kane Street Community Garden (MAP)

 

CONTACT ME:

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

Phone:

(608) 266-5780
Toll Free:

(888) 534-0095

rep.billings@legis.wi.gov

 

Friends and Neighbors,


Summer is slowly winding down. In these last couple weeks of August, I encourage you all to get out into the community and enjoy one of the many exciting events our city and state have to offer!


Ive spent my summer so far enjoying community events like IrishFest, the County Fair, and concerts in the park, national events like the National Conference of State Legislatures, and of course, working hard for La Crosse residents down in Madison.


What will you do to make this summer memorable?

 

Best Wishes,



Jill Billings
State Representative
95th Assembly District

 

 

 

 

REP. BILLINGS APPOINTED TO URBAN EDUCATION TASK FORCE

 

This week, Assembly Speaker Rep. Robin Vos announced the creation of three legislative task forces that will study state issues and present suggestions to legislative committees. Rep. Jill Billings (D La Crosse) was appointed to the Urban Education Task Force. Rep. Billings released the following statement regarding the appointment:

"Special challenges face urban schools in Wisconsin including insufficient funding, a lack of access to important resources, and high levels of poverty that affect students' home and school life. As a member of this task force, I am committed to evaluating sustainable solutions for our urban schools, so that all students in Wisconsin have the opportunity to succeed."

The bipartisan Urban Education Task Force is comprised of 13 Assembly members from across the state, 5 Democrats and 8 Republicans.

Speaker Vos has outlined preliminary areas of study for the task force including issues surrounding teacher recruitment and retention, truancy, below-average academic performance, increased technology access, and several other issues facing our schools today.

"Assembly Democrats have always been dedicated to providing the necessary resources, instruction, and educational standards for our students to succeed, especially throughout this session's budget process. I am pleased to see that the Republican Speaker is recognizing the importance of urban education, and am optimistic that we can collaborate and move towards creating effective solutions for our kids."
 

 

 

 

"DE-FUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD" BILLS EXPLAINED

As you may know, in the last few weeks online videos alleging the activities of Planned Parenthood -- a national women's health nonprofit -- were circulated by anti-choice groups across the country. The group that filmed the video, The Center for Medical Progress, falsely posed as medical researchers to gain access to conferences and privileged conversations with medical professionals.


AB 305, introduced in previous sessions by Rep. Andre Jacque (R- De Pere), was reintroduced this session, likely in response to these videos. The bill would ban the sale or donation of fetal tissue from an aborted fetus. A few facts have come to my attention after these videos were released that cause significant concern as to the validity of the bills. First, the sale of fetal tissue is already expressly prohibited under federal law. Second, though Planned Parenthood was mentioned many times during the bill's debate, Planned Parenthood Wisconsin does not engage in any fetal tissue sale or donation.


A public hearing on AB 305 was held this Tuesday, with a number of registrations speaking on their opposition to abortion. From the hearing, it became clear that this legislation would have no effect on abortions in the state, but would rather impede medical research initiatives.


According to the UW School of Medicine and Public Heath Dean Robert N. Golden, fetal tissue is used for life-saving medical research in Wisconsin, including research on Alzheimer's, certain cancers, and vaccines. If this bill passed, Dr. Golden testified that it would immediately halt state medical research progress, and force researchers to leave Wisconsin for less restrictive states.


Additionally, the committee heard from researchers in Wisconsin's bioscience industry, who testified that the industry -- which produces $27 billion annually and is responsible for the creation of 105,000 jobs -- would be in jeopardy if it were not able to continue testing on fetal tissue.


Both LRB-2645 and LRB-2675 seek to de-fund Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin entirely. These bills will likely go before the Assembly Committee on Health in the next few weeks. It is extremely important to note that Planned Parenthood is not simply an abortion clinic. In fact 97 percent of Planned Parenthood's activities do not include abortion services. Contrary to what some believe, Planned Parenthood is the primary health care provider for thousands of women and men throughout Wisconsin. Approximately 50,000 women and men are provided with safe, preventative-based care under the Title X grant in Wisconsin. De-funding Planned Parenthood would only disenfranchise a large population of Wisconsinites seeking affordable medical care.
 


 

 

 

FEATURED IN "COULEE REGION WOMEN" MAGAZINE

 Rep. Billings, along with other women leaders in our area, was featured in this month's issue of "Coulee Region Women," which highlighted "Women Making a Difference."

"Working in a Wisconsin Assembly, where harmony is not always the norm between the political parties, State Representative Jill Billings is known to reach across the aisle. Having served on the La Crosse County Board helps, as does 'having grown up in a family with seven kids. It's important to learn to work well with others, that great kindergarten lesson.'"

Pick up a copy around town, or view the online version by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

EXPLORE LA CROSSE RECEIVES JEM GRANT

 

Congratulations to Explore La Crosse's "La Crosse Area Weekend Bicycle Festival" for receiving an $11,250 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism!


The 4-day biking event will celebrate its fifth year this September, and will generate an estimated $189,100 in economic impact for the La Crosse area.


According to Dave Clements, Executive Director of Explore La Crosse, "La Crosse is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all interests and this grant provides the La Crosse Area Bicycle Festival with expanded resources to communicate this message to thousands who seek a destination to enjoy outdoor recreational activities during Labor Day weekend."


 

 
 
 

UW SYSTEM LISTENING SESSION AT UW-L

On September 1, University of Wisconsin System leadership will be visiting La Crosse with one powerful purpose: to listen to the people living in and around it.

During this listening session, you are invited to share your thoughts on how UW System can improve the quality of your life and the lives of those around you, contribute your ideas for how UW System can help strengthen the state's economy, and help UW System lay the foundation for the role we can play in shaping the Wisconsin of tomorrow.

The event will take place on Tuesday, September 1 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at the UW La Crosse Cleary Center (615 East Ave. N).

To RSVP for the listening session, please visit https://www.wisconsin.edu/strategic-planning/

 

 

 

 

AROUND THE STATE & COUNTRY

This weekend I was invited to welcome everyone at the opening ceremony of La Crosse's annual IrishFest celebration!

Last week, I attended the National Conference of State Legislatures in Seattle with a number of other Wisconsin legislators.

It was great to speak with the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today and listen to the concerns of La Crosse residents at the public hearing. I'm grateful that Congressman Kind brought her to La Crosse to listen to the concerns in our area.

 

 

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