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




Downtown Spring Fling

Friday, April 8

4:00 - 8:00 p.m.

500 Main St.



Mid West Music Fest

Saturday, April 16

Downtown La Crosse

The Root Note



Aquinas/La Crosse Schools Art Exhibit

Wednesday, April 20 - Saturday, May 21

Pump House Regional Arts Center






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's newsletter will be the last distributed until after Election Day in November 2016, per Wisconsin State Statutes.

It has been great to correspond with all of you over the past legislative session, and share what's been going on in Madison and in the district. I’m excited that, with legislative session officially concluded, I will be able to spend more time in La Crosse directly hearing from people around our community.

Though newsletters will be halted until November, you can always reach out to me by phone at (608)266-5780 or e-mail

Continue reading for important updates on state and community issues!

Best Wishes,

Jill Billings
State Representative
95th Assembly District







2015-2016 Legislative Surveys Available!

If you live in La Crosse, you may have received my 2015-2016 legislative survey in the mail in the past few weeks! This survey is an excellent way for me to keep track of your thoughts on important issues before the legislature, and your thoughts on elected officials in our community.

I greatly appreciate and welcome your comments, and will use this information to best represent you and your views in future legislative sessions.

All responses will be kept anonymous, and will only be used to glean general information on constituents' thoughts.

If you did not receive a survey, and live in the 95th district, you can fill one out online here:

And as always I'll be knocking doors in the district, talking face-to-face. I hope to see you soon!




Newsletter Break & Other Ways to Stay Informed

Wisconsin statutes stipulate that legislators up for re-election may not distribute 49 or more pieces of identical mail from their office between April 15 and Election Day. This applies to both print and e-mail communications. So, starting on April 15, I will not be sending out the biweekly newsletter or any other e-mail alerts.

However, to keep you updated on important issues around our state and community, I will continue posting updates to my legislative website ( and to Twitter and Facebook.



During this time, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, or regarding any state or community issues important to you!




Child Abuse Prevention Month

Did you know that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month?

To mark National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a group of bipartisan legislators headed by State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point), Representative Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan), and I announced the organization of the first Wisconsin Legislative Children's Caucus.

The goal of the caucus will be to research and advocate for promising, evidence-based public policy that will improve the quality of life for all Wisconsin's children, the lawmakers said.

The following is the media release sent announcing the Children's Caucus:

"The Wisconsin Legislative Children's Caucus was developed over several months and with the input of several legislators and community stakeholders," said Rep. Ballweg. "On behalf of Sen. Lassa and myself, we'd like to thank everyone who has collaborated with us to bring this important issue to the forefront."

"Children are our most precious resource, and their well-being has a tremendous impact on the health of our entire society," Sen. Lassa said. "That's why I'm pleased that the Children's Caucus will bring legislators together to meet with well-respected researchers and economists, and explore how to translate their latest findings into model public policy."

"One thing we should all be able to agree on, as legislators from both parties and legislative bodies, is that the health of our children is vital to the future of our state," said Rep. Billings "I'm excited to be a part of the newly organized Children's Caucus to work together using promising and proven models to address children's issues in Wisconsin. This is a unique opportunity to work with legislators and community partners to make a positive difference for children and families in our state."

In preparation for launching the caucus, members have met with expert researchers in such areas as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), the economics of investing in early childhood education, and the science of early childhood brain development to explore what public policies will make a difference in addressing these issues. The lawmakers aim not only to help Wisconsin's children succeed but to better prepare our future workforce.

Along with Sen. Lassa, Rep. Ballweg, and Rep. Billings seven bipartisan legislators representing both chambers contributed to the development of the Wisconsin Legislative Children's Caucus: Sen. Alberta Darling, Sen. Nikiya Harris Dodd, Sen. Chris Larson, Sen. Luther Olsen, Rep. Eric Genrich, Rep. John Jagler, and Rep. Jessie Rodriguez.

April was first declared Child Abuse Prevention Month by presidential proclamation in 1985. Since then, organizations such as the Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board and other partners dedicated to protecting children and strengthening families, have used this time each year to raise awareness of the importance of families, communities, and policy makers working together to prevent child maltreatment.




Redistricting Reform Hearing is Cruel April Fools' Joke

Representative Kathy Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) called an informational hearing on legislative districting for last Friday – April Fools' Day. The hearing came off more like a practical joke than a serious suggestion for a few reasons.

First, because earlier in the year Speaker Vos called redistricting reform a "non-starter," indicating that Republicans would be taking no action on the subject. Second, because the hearing had no potential to produce legislation. Coming in early-April, well after the close of legislative session in both houses, and without any bills on the slate for consideration, the hearing provided a smokescreen at best.

The hearing brought to light many of the realities Democrats have been trying to highlight since the beginning of session: most importantly that Wisconsin's currently redistricting process needs reform. Our state has been gerrymandered to the point that there are limited competitive elections, and even less opportunity for voters' voices to be truly represented.

In fact, studies indicate Wisconsin is one of the most gerrymandered states in the country. In 2012, Democrats garnered a majority of the votes statewide, yet captured under 40% of the seats in the Assembly.

Democratic legislators Mark Spreitzer and Dave Considine introduced legislation this session (AB 328) to reform the redistricting process.

Representative Spreitzer said the following regarding the hearing, "We need action, not more talk, on redistricting reform," Spreitzer added. "While we appreciate an opportunity for experts to further highlight this need, Chairwoman Bernier and Speaker Vos must take real action if they want anyone to think they are serious. Unfortunately for this session, it is already too little, too late."

I agree strongly with my colleagues. Redistricting reform should have been a priority during this session, and should continue to be a serious legislative priority in the future. Our voters should be choosing their representation, not the other way around.



Upcoming Events

Since the newsletter will be on hold, here is a longer list of exciting upcoming events in the La Crosse area, over April and May.


Downtown Spring Fling
Friday, April 8
4:00 - 8:00 p.m.
500 Main St.

Viterbo University Community Health Fair
Tuesday, April 12 at 2:00 p.m.
Mathy Center
811 8th St. S

Mid West Music Fest
Saturday, April 16
Downtown La Crosse
The Root Note

Lovers Love the Spring – A La Crosse Chamber Chorale Concert
Sunday, April 17, 3:00 p.m.
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church

Aquinas and La Crosse Schools Art Exhibits
Wednesday, April 20 - Saturday, May 21
Pump House Regional Art Center

Funke Friday at The Charmant Hotel
Friday, April 29, 8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Charmant Hotel


La Crosse Historical Society Mystery Bus Tour
Tuesday, May 3, 7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
La Crosse County Historical Society

Kinesis Dance Theater
Friday, May 6, 7:30 p.m.
Toland Theater, Center for the Arts (UW-La Crosse)

2016 Spring Regional ExporTech
Tuesday, May 10, 8:00 a.m.
La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce

Women’s Wellness Expo
Friday, May 13 - Sunday, May 15 at 10:00 a.m.
Valley View Mall

Midwest Active Transportation Conference
Friday, May 20, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Centennial Hall, UW-La Crosse

Riverside Family Fun Fair
Saturday, May 21
Riverside Park





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