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(608)266-5780 | State Capitol, Room 307 West, P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 | email@example.com
Saturday, June 3
7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Huck Finn's on the Water
Saturday, June 3 - Sunday, June 4
Wisconsin State Parks
Friday, June 9 - Saturday, June 10
Pump House Regional Arts Center
Saturday, June 10
Viterbo University Fine Arts Center
Tuesday, June 13
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
La Crosse Public Library Auditorium
Friends and Neighbors,
I hope everyone had a pleasant and safe Memorial Day weekend. I enjoyed attending the annual parade and memorial service. It was great to see so many community members come out to remember and honor our fallen military members.
Following the weekend, I headed back to Madison for several important votes including a committee vote on the passage AB 299 relating to limiting freedom of speech on UW campuses. Please continue reading for my statement on this legislation.
The Assembly will convene two Wednesdays from now, on June 14, for what will likely be the only non-budgetary session of the month. Although the budget has not been scheduled for a vote yet, it may come toward the end of June. To this end, the Joint Committee on Finance has been busy deciding the budgets of a number of state agencies each week. I have included budget highlights from the last couple of weeks further down.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding this pending legislation or any other issues, feel free to contact my office by calling (608) 266-5780 or emailing 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
AB 299 Passes Out of Committee
This Tuesday, the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities took up AB 299, which would sanction free speech on University of Wisconsin System campuses. The bill passed along party lines, with all Democrats voting against it.
Free speech is of the utmost importance in our democracy. This bill needlessly restricts this basic constitutional right and will likely end up in the courts. Assembly Bill 299 is legislation drafted to address an extremely rare situation that is best handled by University of Wisconsin System campuses.
Our state is facing true economic problems that
affect Wisconsinites' daily lives, from the largest manufacturing job
loss since 2011, to being ranked dead last in start-up companies, to the
stranglehold a billion dollars of student loan debt has on our state's
future economic growth. I'd rather work with the university and students
to develop legislation on programs to address these key, real issues we
face in Wisconsin.
The Joint Committee on Finance met last week to vote on the proposed 2017-19 budgets of several more state agencies. On May 23, 2017, the committee voted on the Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB), the Department on Children and Families, and the Department of Administration. Below are highlights from that executive session:
On May 25, 2017, the committee voted on the UW System and Department of Health Services (DHS) budgets.
JFC's most recent meeting was this Wednesday, May 31. Please see the session highlights below.
You can always watch live streams of all the hearings by tuning in to Wisconsin Eye.
Creating good-paying jobs for the people in Wisconsin is of a high priority to me. In order to promote a healthy job market, I believe we need to invest in training highly-skilled workers for in-demand positions, as well as create quality job opportunities Wisconsinites can turn into gainful careers. Unfortunately, the Gov. Scott Walker's policies have not supported these goals.
Jill In the District
I was glad to be back in La Crosse for the annual Memorial Day parade and service. Thank you to everyone who gives their time to organize the parade and ceremony so that we can all honor our fallen military members. Additionally, a special thank you to the Logan High School Marching Band, who played at this year's gathering, and the Veterans Color Guard, who gave the traditional 21-gun salute and a very moving "Taps" - what a wonderful tribute to fallen soldiers and their families.
As a strong supporter of La Crosse's small businesses, I always appreciate the chance to meet with owners and tour their facilities. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit a great North Side business, D n A Vintners, La Crosse's only winery. The winery unveiled their new "Trompe L'Oeil" three-dimensional painting by area artist Sarah Pederson, pictured below.
I also visited with Deb Lash -- a recent Chamber of Commerce honoree and owner of The Wedding Tree and The Court Above Main -- and toured her wonderful downtown businesses. Congratulations to both hard-working, successful women business owners!
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