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



Hixon House Holidays

Thursday, November 19 at 1:00 p.m. through Sunday, November 22 at 3:00 p.m.

429 7th Street N.



La Crosse Community Thanksgiving Dinner
Thursday, November 26

10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
La Crosse Center



Rotary Lights Parade and Display

Friday, November 27 at 5:00 p.m.

Riverside Park (MAP)


La Crosse Symphony Orchestra - James Bond Concert
Friday, November 21 from 7:30 - 10:00 p.m.
Viterbo University Fine Arts Center (MAP)




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


(608) 266-5780
Toll Free:

(888) 534-0095


Friends and Neighbors,

This week in the legislature, the final two of three corruption-inducing bills were passed through the Assembly. The bills passed would allow for anonymous campaign contributions by corporations, and would dissolve our respected, nonpartisan Government Accountability Board. Both bills would mark a significant end to Wisconsin's system of open, accountable government.

The bill will now move to Governor Walker -- who has the option to veto these reprehensible bills, or sign them into law.

Because of the dangerous nature of these bills, I encourage anyone who wants to preserve Wisconsin democracy to contact Governor Walker by e-mailing or calling (608) 266-1212.


Best Wishes,

Jill Billings
State Representative
95th Assembly District








Rail Safety Bill Introduced

Last week, following train derailments in Alma and Watertown WI, I introduced legislation to improve Rail Safety in Wisconsin. I have been working on this legislation for quite some time, and I'm happy to have gotten bipartisan support in the Assembly and the Senate. I strongly believe that Wisconsin must take action now to protect our communities from rail accidents.

Following the introduction of the bill, I released this statement:

"LA CROSSE – Today, Representative Jill Billings (D-La Crosse) announced legislation that would improve Wisconsin's railroads by implementing measures to prevent future derailments and thereby ensure the safety of Wisconsinites in rail communities. Rep. Billings was joined by several local members of CARS (Citizens Acting for Rail Safety) near the railroad tracks in La Crosse. Rep. Billings is the lead author in the State Assembly. The legislation is co-authored in the State Senate by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse).

"The most recent train derailments are unfortunately part of a recurring problem with rail safety in our state," said Rep. Billings. "The dangerous impacts of these derailments -- including environmental disasters, and the potential for harm to Wisconsinites living in these communities -- indicate that we must take action now to secure our railroads and prevent further damage."

Wisconsin experienced two devastating train derailments in over the weekend in Alma and Watertown, with the former causing 18,500 gallons of ethanol to spill into the Mississippi River. These are just the most recent incidents in Wisconsin, preceded by derailments in Prairie du Chien and Slinger Wisconsin, with another just across the border in nearby Galena, Illinois.

"This bill would directly impact members of the La Crosse community -- where oil trains run right through our city every day -- and hundreds of other communities across Wisconsin by ensuring safe, scrutinized rail transport," continued Billings.

The bill, which was modeled after rail safety legislation enacted in Minnesota, would do the following:

  • Provide for more state rail track inspectors
  • Require railroad companies submit prevention and response plans to the state
  • Provide training for local emergency first responders along railroad routes
  • Provide guidelines for coordination and response timelines in the event of a derailment
  • Require the Office of the Commissioner of Railroads to submit a report to the legislature on emergency preparedness, assessment of training needs for first responders statewide, inventory of both public and private resources available in the event of a derailment and recommendations to the legislature to improve preparedness and safety of our citizens

Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) is an author of the bill and longtime advocate of rail safety.

"Rather than waiting for the next accident to happen, we need to be proactive in our efforts to improve Wisconsin's rail network and prevent train derailments," said Sen. Shilling. "By strengthening rail safety measures and encouraging greater collaboration, we can help protect local communities and improve the reliability of our transportation infrastructure."

While the railroad system is regulated by the Federal government, there are still measures that legislators can pursue on the state level to improve the safety of Wisconsin’s track system.

"This bill outlines actions that we can take as a state to improve local rail safety, advance the ability of our communities to respond in the case of derailment, and protect the safety of our citizens,"concluded Billings.

A copy of the legislation can be found here.

Since the introduction of the bill, I have been speaking with news outlets and organizations across the state to garner support for a safer rail system in our state."

Click here to watch an interview I did with Wisconsin Public Television on the subject.





Thanksgiving Events in La Crosse


In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Thanksgiving Proclamation, officially recognizing Thanksgiving as a federal holiday. At the time, the country was in the midst of the Civil War. In his speech, President Lincoln called for the American people to come together and give thanks, despite the harsh realities of war that divided the nation. He said, "peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the military conflict."

On the fourth Thursday of November, families across the United States take time to give thanks. Enjoy this holiday season with family, friends, and neighbors, and remember all that we have in our state and nation to be thankful for.

The holiday season also provides many opportunities to give back to our community. This Thanksgiving, consider volunteering for the La Crosse Center Community Dinner or volunteering at another local food pantry like the Hunger Task Force – La Crosse. The La Crosse Community Dinner has been held for the past 33 years, and has provided thousands of area residents with holiday comfort.  






Open Enrollment for Affordable Health Care

The Open Enrollment period for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still open!

Visit to compare health insurance plans and see what types of subsidies are available to you. If you don't already have good health insurance through your employer, you can sign up for affordable coverage under the ACA either online, in person, or over the phone.

The ACA is here to stay -- guaranteeing affordable coverage to hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites.

If you are considering your healthcare options, I encourage you to visit before the open enrollment period ends in January.



Rep. Billings Around the District!

AT&T awarded the La Crosse Boys and Girls Club a $5,000 grant for its Career Center, which helps youth in our community plan for and develop skills to enter the workforce in the future.


Last week, La Crosse service members celebrated Veteran's Day at the La Crosse VFW and Viterbo University.

In these photos, I'm speaking in front of La Crosse's railroad tracks about my Rail Safety legislation!





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