Images not loading? View this e-mail in your web browser.

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



Norskedalen "Ghoulees in the Coulees" Halloween Event
Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24 at 6:00 p.m.

Norskedalen Nature and Heritage Center (MAP)


UW-L vs. UWEC Football
Saturday, October 24, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
UW-L Football Stadium(MAP)


Halloween "Spoke-tacular" Bicycle Ride

Sunday, October 24 at 4:30 p.m. through Sunday, October 25 at 12:00 a.m.

Riverside International Friendship Gardens (MAP)


Downtown La Crosse Trick or Treating
Saturday, October 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Downtown La Crosse (MAP)


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 mid-1900s, Wisconsin has had a long tradition of open, ethical governmental practices. Wisconsin's open government laws -- which extend from public records and open meetings law, to more complex campaign finance laws -- promote democracy by ensuring that all agencies are acting with transparency. In this way, state agencies and employees are held accountable to the taxpayers.

Since that time, our policies of open government allowed our state government to act ethically, and to work with our constituents' best interests in mind.

Today, our system of ethical government is being threatened. During Assembly debate on Wednesday and Thursday, three GOP-led bills were passed, opening the door for corrupt politics. The effects of these bills are discussed in more detail in this newsletter. However, these bills are not law yet. Two await passage through the Senate and all will need to be signed by the Governor to become law. If you care for our state's future, I urge you to contact Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (here) or Governor Walker (here) to voice your concerns about these bills. With our combined voices, we have a chance to stop this legislation from harming our state.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me on this issue, or any other issue important to you.


Best Wishes,

Jill Billings
State Representative
95th Assembly District








Republicans Rush Through Bills to Eliminate Good Government


On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, Assembly Republican legislators passed three bills that would eliminate Wisconsin's tradition of open, accountable government. The bills would dismantle Wisconsin's free and fair elections board, practically eliminate investigations into political corruption, and allow for anonymous, unlimited political donations by corporations.

By passing each of these bills, Republican legislators are making it easier for political corruption to take place, more difficult for corruption to be investigated, and nearly impossible for corruption to be prosecuted.

The three bills introduced by Republican legislators are AB 388, AB 387 and AB 68/SB 43. The bills would change the following in Wisconsin law:

  • AB 68/SB 43, which passed (61-36) is otherwise known as the "Corrupt Politician Protection Act." The bill allows politicians to carry out corrupt activity with impunity by exempting political crimes from investigation under Wisconsin's John Doe anti-corruption laws.
  • AB 387, which passed (61-0), changes campaign finance laws to allow corporations to give unlimited donations directly to campaign committees, completely altering the scope of their influence on politics. It also allows individuals to anonymously spend an unlimited amount of money on political campaigns.
  • AB 388, which passed (58-39), would dismantle Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board (GAB), a nonpartisan board which oversees elections and ethics cases, and instead replace it with 2 partisan boards. The ethics board in particular would have a limited ability to investigate political crimes, as it would have to receive permission from the majority-Republican Joint Finance Committee to carry out major investigations. This two-board system is similar in style and function to the boards Wisconsin had before the 2002 caucus scandal.

Each of these bills demonstrates a coordinated attempt to open the door for corrupt political activity. Without strong campaign finance laws, corporations and wealthy individuals are able to have more influence on politicians and political parties than most individuals in Wisconsin to their advantage. Without the GAB, ethics and corruption investigations can be tossed aside for political motives.

And without our John Doe law, prosecutions of corrupt politicians are nearly impossible. Each of these actions goes hand-in-hand in creating a state more concerned with personal political gain than Wisconsin families.

We've seen the effects unchecked corrupt activity can have in our state. When Wisconsin had two separate elections and ethics boards, as proposed in this new bill, it led to the very political scandal that required the creation of the GAB and the need for John Doe anti-corruption investigations.

As for campaign spending, unlimited and unreported spending from corporations and individuals means that special interests can buy legislators. Legislators could be bought by mining companies to vote against environmental protections, big retail corporations to loosen regulations on their business, and more, leaving out the majority of Wisconsinites in their decision-making.

This vote is not the end of the line for these bills, though. Earlier this year, when GOP legislators attempted to sneak a repeal of open records law into the budget, the immediate public outcry against the proposal caused GOP legislators to immediately retract it. We have the chance to do the same with these harmful proposals. I urge you all to contact GOP Senators and voice your opposition to these bills.




Oktoberfest In the Capitol


This week, a delegation of individuals from the greater La Crosse area visited the Capitol as part of the "Oktoberfest at the Capitol" event. I had a wonderful time speaking with members from my community, and hearing about concerns from the Coulee Region. Thank you to the delegation for advocating with my colleagues from across Wisconsin on issues of importance to the Coulee Region.

Here are some photos from my meetings at the Capitol, and from the evening reception:




Trick-Or-Treating in La Crosse


To keep safe this Halloween, the City of La Crosse asks that neighborhoods and trick-or-treaters only participate in trick-or-treating from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 31.

But if you would like the Halloween festivities to start a little earlier, Downtown La Crosse will be holding trick-or-treating hours this weekend, October 24. Over 50 businesses will be participating in the Downtown Halloween celebration from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will be distributing treats and Halloween fun! To find the list of participating businesses, visit ( or look for the Halloween poster on the doors of businesses while downtown!

Hope you all have a safe and "spook-tacular" Halloween this year!



October is Fire Prevention Month

Did you know that October is National Fire Prevention Month? The prevention month stemmed from the Great Chicago Fire of October 1871. In two days, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed half of the existing city.

To prevent in-home fires and associated tragedies, the National Fire Protection Agency has designated October as fire prevention month. During this month, the NFPA makes information available to homeowners to prevent common causes of fires. According to the NFPA, cooking is the leading cause of home fires, with two of five home fires starting in the kitchen. To prevent kitchen fires, the NFPA recommends the following:

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food
  • If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove
  • When you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home, and use a timer to remind you
  • If you have young children, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible
  • Keep children and pets at least three (3) feet away from the stove
  • When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves
  • Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels, and anything else that can burn, away from your stovetop
  • Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops


The NFPA also recommends a number of preventative, planning measures that can save you and your family if you find yourselves with a home fire. Clearing brush from outside your home, using fire-resistant landscaping, and assembling emergency supplies ahead of time can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. The NFPA also recommends that you note escape routes from your home, and discuss routes with your family.

For more information on National Fire Prevention Month, visit



If you would like to have your name removed from this email list, please reply to this message with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line