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



Cameron Park Farmer's Market
Saturday, September 26 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Cameron Park (MAP)


Hixon Forest Epic
Sunday, September 27

Hixon Forest Park (MAP)


Oktoberfest 2015

Thursday, October 1 through Sunday, October 4.

Oktoberfest Strasse (MAP)


"CHINA Town Hall" webcast of panel discussion on Chinese Investment in the United States
Monday, October 5, 5:45 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

UW-La Crosse Centennial Hall



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


(608) 266-5780
Toll Free:

(888) 534-0095



Friends and Neighbors,

Happy Friday! This week, the Assembly is getting back to business, holding its first post-break session in Madison. Now that we’re resuming session, Democrats have already announced plans to introduce legislation that empowers our middle class, cuts the influence of fraud and corruption in government, and increase accountability in schools.

For my part, I will be working diligently to pass legislation that will benefit La Crosse residents, as well as all Wisconsinites. Continue reading this week’s newsletter for important updates on state and local news.


Best Wishes,

Jill Billings
State Representative
95th Assembly District







FamilyCare/IRIS Hearing in La Crosse

On Monday, the Department of Health Services will be holding a public hearing in La Crosse regarding changes to IRIS and FamilyCare programs. During and after the budget, this topic was the one I received the most concern and question about. Sen Shilling, Rep. Doyle and I advocated for a listening session in La Crosse. I would encourage anyone with lingering questions about the programs to attend the hearing.

Hearing details are as follows:

Date: Monday, September 28
Time: 12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Location: La Crosse Public Library

If you are unable to attend the public hearing, feel free to contact my office with your thoughts at and we will forward your comments to DHS, or participate in the hearing's live webcast at






Democrats Unveil New Middle Class Agenda



Last week, Assembly Democrats unveiled a new package of legislation to "bring back the middle class." The bills focused on core priorities for our Wisconsin neighbors and families, including higher education affordability, childcare and earned sick days and retirement security. I released the following statement regarding the bill package:

"After detrimental budget changes to Wisconsin policies that severely impacted our middle-class families, it is important that we re-invest in their success and aid in the economic recovery of our local communities," said Rep. Billings. "These ideas -- making childcare and family care more reasonable, making college affordable, and allowing those who’ve put in their hard work to retire comfortably -- are a step in the right direction to achieving that goal."

Bills in the agenda include Childcare Affordability, sponsored by Representatives Sargent (D-Madison) and Genrich (D-Green Bay); Higher Ed, Lower Debt, sponsored by Representatives Mason (D-Racine) and Kolste (D-Janesville); Earned Sick Days, sponsored by Representatives Mason and Sargent; and Retirement Security, sponsored by Representatives Genrich and Jorgensen (D-Milton).

The bills are expected to be offered before their respective committees in the following weeks.






Coulee Region Transportation Study


Public involvement meetings for the Coulee Region Transportation Study took place on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. The meetings provided a review of study activities and next steps in the year-long Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) process to examine transportation in the area.

Additionally, the Coulee Region Transportation study team has update the project's website to include all meeting minutes and presentations. If you missed a meeting, you can catch up with the project progress here:

If you would like to receive regular updates about the study, you can sign up for them here:




Milwaukee Private School Closure


Last week, it was announced that Milwaukee private school "Daughters of the Father Academy" shut down nine days into the school year. All students from the school were filtered into other Milwaukee-area private schools. However, the school’s shut down raises important questions about voucher funding on our state.

Daughters of the Father Academy was fully funded by the Milwaukee Parental Choice program, and therefore received taxpayer-supported vouchers to provide an education to Wisconsin students. When a private school can't be counted on to stay open, how can it be considered a proper educational alternative to public schools?

Unfortunately, Daughters of the Father is not the only private school to shut down in recent years. According to estimates from the Department of Public Instruction, since 2003 57 voucher schools have shut down, and approximately $182 million taxpayer funding was spent on these schools.

In the wake of this news, Democrats have called upon the full legislature to increase voucher school accountability. Early this session, Democratic legislators proposed a voucher accountability bill which would ensure greater transparency between schools and taxpayers, and increased accountability to parents and students. At the very least, we can all agree that taxpayer-funded schools should be held to the same standards as public schools -- and that is why we must improve voucher school accountability.





Coming to Your Local DMV This Fall: New Drivers' Licenses!

This Fall, the Wisconsin DMV is taking additional steps to enhance fraud prevention with Wisconsin drivers' licenses. To do so, the DMV will be issuing a new form of drivers’ license with black and white photos.

According to the Department of Transportation these ID cards are more secure as they are engraved by laser onto a high-quality polycarbonate card, as opposed to previous cards which were put together as separate layers. The new, solid card produced high-definition, high-contrast images and is more difficult to counterfeit.

However if you have a current ID, you will not need to replace it. All existing IDs will be valid until their normal expiration dates.




DATCP Warns About Phishing Scams


For a number of Wisconsin residents, suspicious e-mails from fake "state courts" have been raising issue at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

According to DATCP representatives, if you receive an e-mail claiming to be from the "State Court" about your required appearance, delete it and do NOT open any attachments. There is no legitimacy to the e-mail's claim, and the attachment contains malicious software that can infect your computer with a virus.

DATCP also says, "the e-mails falsely claim that you have to appear in court on a particular date, and you are told to prepare all documents relating to 'the case.' They also warn that the case may be heard by the judge in your absence if you do not come to the court. The e-mails say that the court notice is attached. Again, this attachment contains malware, so simply delete and disregard the e-mail."

For reference, unless you are participating in an electronically-filed case or have consented to receive court notifications and reminders electronically, Wisconsin courts will not send communications via e-mail.

If you have further questions about potentially suspicious e-mails, contact the Consumer Protection Bureau at or call 1-800-422-7128.





Rep. Billings Around the State


I had a great time at the Hmong New Year celebration in La Crosse!


Here I am pictured with the ladies from La Crosse's Craft & Vendor Marketplace, at its recent opening.


Assembly Democrats banded together this week as supporters of Women's Health! We #StandWithPP






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