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(608)266-5780 | State Capitol, Room 307 West, P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, March 11
11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Lincoln Middle School
Saturday, March 11
12 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
Starts at corner of 2nd St & Vine St
Travels down Main Street
Sunday, March 19 at 2 p.m.
Viterbo Fine Arts Center
Saturday, March 25
8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
La Crosse Center
Friends and Neighbors,
As for goings-on in the Capitol, the State Assembly convened on Tuesday and Thursday of this week to vote on a number of bills. Among the pieces of legislation discussed were ones that would eliminate Project Labor Agreements for contractors working on public works projects. This bill -- which passed on a party line vote and was voted in by Republicans -- will hurt Wisconsin workers by opening the door for under-skilled, out-of-state workers to take jobs in our state.
Another bill that passed was the "Right to Try" bill, which would make it legal for terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs in an effort to manage their condition even if these drugs have not been approved by the FDA.
With already such a busy session, I'd like to again thank to everyone who continues to contact me to voice their opinions on issues before the legislature. I would encourage anyone who has questions or concerns to let me know by calling (608) 266-5780 or e-mailing me at Rep.Billings@legis.wi.gov.
Please continue reading for more information on the happenings both in La Crosse and statewide.
95th Assembly District
Children's Caucus Kicks off in La Crosse
This morning in La Crosse, the Wisconsin Legislative Children's Caucus held its first meeting on community efforts to strengthen families across the state. As a co-chair of the Children's Caucus and a supporter of cultivating evidence-informed policy that improves the lives of all Wisconsin children, I would like to thank those community members who came out today to show their support for our mission and the health of children and families throughout our state. I am proud to be a part of this bi-partisan effort, and to be joined by Representative Joan Ballweg and Senators Alberta Darling and LaTonya Johson, who serve as co-chairs.
International Women's Day
International Women's Day, which has been observed since 1090, was celebrated past Wednesday. The holiday was intended to celebrate women as well as encourage the progression of equal rights. In recognition of the day, women across the state and country participated in marches and demonstrations that brought attention to the inequities women still face in the United States and around the world. This included some participating in Day Without a Woman, which included women taking the day off of paid and unpaid labor, if possible. Other showed their support by avoiding shopping (expect for at small, women- and/or minority-owned businesses) and wearing red to show solidarity. Although we were not able to take the day off, my staff and I proudly wore red to stand with the women taking a stance that day.
Issues that were on the forefront of demonstrations were reproductive rights, equal pay and ending gender violence. However, more than just women's rights were acknowledged, as some demonstrators also addressed the Black Lives Matter movement, LGBTQ rights, anti-Trump protests and dismantling walls. In La Crosse, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of UW-La Crosse held an event on campus featuring a panel of international women who discussed their experiences in their home countries compared to in the United States.
The entire month of March is Women's History month. In celebration, the La Crosse Tribune will feature one woman in history every day of the month to share their achievements in the workforce. Make sure to check it out!
UW-La Crosse Policy Panel
Students enrolled in a Family and Chlidren Policy course at UW-La Crosse visited the Capitol earlier this week and heard from a panel of my colleagues about various policy areas. Rep. Evan Goyke (pictured above) spoke to students about juvenile justice. Additionally, Rep. Melissa Sargent presented about homelessness and teen dating violence, Rep. Sondy Pope talked about education policy, and students heard about health and mental health from Rep. Deb Kolste.
A-Team Disability Advocates
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet with the A-Team, a group of disability advocates from La Crosse and the surrounding area. During their visit, members of the A-Team told me about the importance of employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
David Kilpatrick, executive director of the La Crosse Community Theater, visited me on Arts Day in the Capitol and spoke to me about the importance of arts in our district. He updated me on happenings in the theater, as well as at the Weber Center for the Performing Arts. Xanadu opened March 2!
UW-L Alumni Event
Legislators met with UW-La Crosse students, alumni, faculty and staff to celebrate the achievements of the university. Many Capitol employees are alumni of UW-L, and this event gives them an opportunity to reconnect with each other every year. Here we are pictured singing UW-L's alma mater, which is an annual tradition.
Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin
During a visit from the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, a few pharmacy students told me about relevant issues for their industry. They focused on emergency prescription extension and upcoming intern immunization legislation.
Mayo Health System
I was joined by Sen. Jennifer Shilling, Rep. Steve Doyle and Rep. Lee Nerison as we heard from Mayo Health System representatives about the future of the hospital and its impacts on the community.
Thank you to nurses and nursing students from La Crosse who came to speak with me about their work, and how legislation impacts their practices. I am so proud to represent a district that is so politically engaged!
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