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



Historic Downtown Days
Saturday, October 10

Downtown Main Street (MAP)


Cameron Park Farmer's Market
Saturday, October 10 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Cameron Park (MAP)


Color Run La Crosse

Sunday, October 11

8:00 a.m.

Check In: Riverside Park (MAP)


Homeless Veterans Stand Down:
Free Services for veterans in need

Thursday, October 29 - 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Logistics Health Incorporated, Cargill Room (MAP)


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


(608) 266-5780
Toll Free:

(888) 534-0095









Friends and Neighbors,

Activity in the State Capitol has been ramping up over the past few weeks, with constituents from across the state actively engaged in a range of prominent issues. I am hearing from constituents on a large range of issues from environment, to education, to monetary influence in politics. Actions from the Urban Education Committee are picking up with the first meeting last week, visiting two Madison public schools where great innovative work is being done. We will be meeting in Kenosha/Racine next week to discuss mental health, behavioral issues, and truancy.

As always, I am eager to hear from my constituents regarding their thoughts on the issues before us today. If you would like contact me you may do so via e-mail at or by phone at (608)266-5780.


Best Wishes,

Jill Billings
State Representative
95th Assembly District







National Domestic Violence Awareness Month


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Wisconsin and throughout the nation. In the United States, 1 in 4 women will experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetimes. In Wisconsin, 2,500 victims of domestic violence will seek shelter every year. Unfortunately, thousands of domestic violence cases go unreported every year for a variety of factors including the social stigma surrounding domestic violence, and a lack of awareness for reporting resources.

Efforts during Domestic Violence Awareness Month focus on increasing awareness to signs of domestic violence, increasing resources to victims and emphasizing that we as a society have a ZERO tolerance policy for domestic violence.

In La Crosse, there are specific area resources for victims and their loved ones to report domestic violence. A few of these resources are listed below:

Crisis Lines (staffed 24 hours a day):

  • New Horizons Shelter and Women's Center
    (608) 791-2600
  • Safe Path (Mayo HealthCare)
    (608) 791-7804
  • Gundersen Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Awareness Program
    (608) 775-5950

Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Programs:

  • Domestic Violence Intervention Project
    (608) 785-7670
  • New Horizons Shelter and Women's Center
    (608) 791-2600

Legal Assistance:

  • Legal Action of Wisconsin
    (608) 785-2809
  • New Horizons Shelter Legal Advocate
    (608) 791-2610 ext. 303

Learn about and joint the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence's “Take a Stand” 2015 campaign here:




Cyber Security Month Tips from DATCP


Did you know that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month? Being "Cyber Aware," especially in this age of frequent internet usage is extremely important for protecting your secure information.

In honor of this month, the DATCP’s Consumer Protection Bureau will be sending out a cyber security "tip of the day" every day this month. Here are a few of the recent tips from DATCP:

1) New month, new passwords:
Change your online passwords today, and use a long combination of numbers, letters and special characters. For best protection, do this on a regular basis, and keep a totally different password for your e-mail.

2) Protect your email account
Many websites send password update and account access e-mails to consumers, so getting a hold of these e-mails could potentially give a hacker access to all of your online accounts. Your e-mail password should be the toughest to decode.

3) Run a Free Computer Security Check
Start out Cyber Security Month with a "clean sweep" of your computer system -- a trusted security check! To keep your computer free of viruses and other damaging programs, check your computer regularly. has a listing of trusted (and free!) security check services here:

4) Back up, back up, back up
Halloween is scary. But do you know what's scarier? Losing all of your important filed and your collection of photos, music and videos. Don't let it happen to you. Regularly sync your mobile devices with your laptop or desktop computer or to a cloud service. Backup your laptop or desktop to an external hard drive or cloud service. One dead hard drive, misplaced mouse click or lost device could spell the end of all of your files…take steps NOW to protect your data.

5) What is "ransomware?"
"Ransomware" is a particularly nasty type of computer virus that can lock up your system and files until you pay the offenders a ransom. The message that takes over your screen may falsely claim to be from the FBI or the U.S. Department of Justice saying that you visited illegal online contact. If you pay a ransom to "unlock" your computer, your system will still likely be carrying some form of malware. The Federal Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) recommends that victims not pay any money or provide personal information to the criminals to free up their system. Instead, contact a local, trusted computer tech service for help.

6) Use caution on public networks
If you are using a public wi-fi hotspot to connect to your personal accounts on a mobile device, limit the types of business you conduct, shield your typing from prying eyes, and set your device to hide your password character entries. Hold off on using online banking websites or sites that require sensitive personal information (like Social Security numbers) until you are on a secure private network or a home computer.

7) Bluetooth risks
Bluetooth has hit the big time, giving us a means of taking hands-free calls, wirelessly transferring files, and streaming music to our stereos. But Bluetooth has long been vulnerable to security exploitation. "Bluejacking," "Car Whisperer" and "Bluebugging" are all forms of Bluetooth threats (look them up…they’re both interesting and troubling).
The only safe way to avoid these risks is by turning off Bluetooth features entirely when they are not in use (and not just putting them in "undetectable" mode). Many battery management applications can help automate this process. Also, keep your device's operating system up to date for the best overall security protections.




"Charter Our Community" Event in La Crosse


Charter communications will be holding a "Charter our Community" event in La Crosse on October 10th to prevent in-home fires. According to the American Red Cross, seven people die each day as a result of a home fire. Details for the event are below:

Saturday, October 10
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
City of La Crosse Fire Station – 626 Monitor St.

For this event, Charter is partnering with the American Red Cross and the La Crosse Fire Department. As part of the Red Cross's Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, Charter is hosting a smoke alarm installation event on Saturday, October 10, 2015. During this event, volunteers will go door-to-door and speak with residents about the importance or fire preparedness, install smoke alarms, and teach residents how to test and maintain their smoke alarms.

Charter employee volunteers will receive training the day of the event, and they will be assigned to a group that includes a program representative from the American Red Cross or a member of the local fire department. Teams of volunteers will spend the day canvassing a local neighborhood to assist residents.



"Hot Topics" at the State Capitol

1) Rep.Knudson puts out “reorganizing the GAB bill"

This week, Representatives Knudson and Bernier, along with Senators Vukmir and LeMahieu introduced LRB-3073, a bill to "reorganize the Government Accountability Board." As you may know, the Government Accountability Board is Wisconsin's nonpartisan elections and ethics commission board, tasked with ensuring that elections in Wisconsin are free and fair for all, and ethical guidelines are understood and followed by all elected to office.

Authors of the bill argue that the GAB has not been acting effectively in its 8 years of operation, and has instead been acting in a partisan manner. However, the latest audit shows that the GAB is conducting its investigations in an appropriate way.

The bill proposal states that it will dismantle the GAB and instead replace it with two separate boards: an Elections Commission and an Ethics Commission. Under the bill, members of these boards would be elected in a partisan fashion, with membership being decided by both parties' leadership, as well as the Governor, and confirmed by the legislature. Partisan politics should play no role in elections or ethics decision-making; creating a partisan elections board could nullify the importance of Wisconsinites' votes.

This attack on the GAB is just another in a long line of corrupt activities from legislative Republicans this session. First, they went after our open records laws, attempting to conceal information from the public. Now, they're going after our civil service system, attempting to appoint their own cronies to public positions over proven qualified individuals. And today, they've proposed dismantling an election accountability board just before a Presidential election.

Should the GAB be dismantled and voter ID enacted, it could cause significant issues with Wisconsin’s election system in 2016 and in future years.

The nationally-recognized GAB works -- and as the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

2) Proposed Changes to Wisconsin's Civil Service

As part of its recent backward-moving proposals, Republican legislators have proposed changes to Wisconsin's hiring practice in civil service positions.

Specifically, the proposed bill would remove the requirement that potential civil servants take an entrance exam to be considered for the position, and instead they simply submit a resume. As many can assume, a resume cannot alone verify an applicant’s competence on the many technical areas of expertise that are needed for civil service positions. Under this new law, employers would be under no obligation to hire qualified candidates. The civil service exam leaves less room for bias in hiring.

Under the new system, Governor Walker's Department of Administration would be responsible for all department hires, which creates the obvious opening for partisanship in hiring practices.

Potentially worse than partisan hiring is that this new process would also allow for cronyism. Without exams to ensure the qualifications of employees, those employed could be completely unqualified pals or family members of the hiring authority. This is a fairness issue. Qualified candidates should all get a crack at these jobs and hiring shouldn’t depend on who you know, but rather what you know.

This bill received a public hearing before the Senate Committee on Labor and Government Reform. It will now require a vote in the Committee and full Senate in order to reach the Assembly for debate.

3) DNR regulation limits for high-capacity wells

Over the past few weeks, I have been contacted by a large number of constituents regarding the proposal to undercut DNR inspection for high-capacity wells.

Under current law, the DNR only has the authority to review and adjust a high-capacity well approval when there is a transfer, replacement, or reconstruction of a well. Since high-capacity well permits never expire, these are the only opportunities the DNR has to ensure that a well is not over-pumping and causing water scarcity. The recently proposed bill, SB 239, would prohibit the DNR from conducting a review in these instances, thereby essentially creating a permanent permit for water use for landowners with high-capacity wells.

Well-managed water levels on our rivers, lakes and streams are vital to fishing, hunting, boating and other outdoor activities as well as tourism, commerce, and property values. If the DNR can't properly regulate high-capacity wells, it would likely cause local governments to pass their own ordinances governing water usage. Inconsistent laws across the state could create serious issues with conserving our shared natural resource, and could cause scarcity in the future.




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