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


La Crosse Comic Con

Friday, July 21 - Sunday, July 23

La Crosse Public Library

(Free, but may require registration)



Putts for Pets

Saturday, July 22

10 a.m. (registration at 9 a.m.)Forest Hills Public Golf Course



Rail Fair

Saturday, July 22

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Copeland Park



AAUW Art Fair on the Green

Saturday, July 20 - Sunday, July 30

UW-La Crosse




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


(608) 266-5780
Toll Free:

(888) 534-0095

Friends and Neighbors,


I hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July holiday! I was glad for the opportunity to spend some time in La Crosse, attend RiverFest, and see so many of you watching the fireworks.


Although RiverFest is over, summer festivities in the La Crosse area continue. Next Wednesday, the La Crosse Interstate Fair will open its 127th Annual Exhibit, which will run from July 19 through July 23. The first fair was held in La Crosse in 1858, and it is always a great opportunity for the community to come together and share our pride in our home-grown and locally made products. Admission is free, and all support goes toward keeping this storied tradition alive. Thank you to all volunteers and contributors for making the La Crosse Interstate Fair a recurring success.


As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding pending legislation, the state budget, or any other issue, feel free to contact my office by calling (608) 266-5780 or emailing me at


Please continue reading for more detailed information on the happenings both in La Crosse and statewide.


Best Wishes,

Jill Billings
State Representative
95th Assembly District

Budget Update

Unfortunately, the Joint Committee on Finance has not met since my last newsletter came out, meaning there are no new votes to report. This is largely because transportation has proven to be the toughest piece of the budget for Republicans to reach agreement.

Last week, Governor Scott Walker sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, urging them to consider a new budget proposal to fix our roads. In the letter, the governor suggests reducing the previously proposed $500 million in bonding to $300 million. Secondly, Walker's new proposal approves contingency borrowing that would be linked to additional federal funding for mega projects in Southeastern Wisconsin. The new proposal does not, however, include raising the state's gas tax or vehicle fee increase.

I support an increase in the gas tax because our roads cannot be meaningfully repaired without securing revenue -- not loans and bonds -- for the project. We need to come up with real, long-term solutions to our infrastructure problems.

As of today, passing the budget is 14 days overdue, with no end to the Republicans' impasse in sight.



Local Impact of the Wisconsin Arts Board

I would like to thank the Wisconsin Arts Board for all the work they have done to grow the arts community here in La Crosse, and throughout the state. For more than 40 years, the Wisconsin Arts Board has promoted artistic expression, supported arts programming and education, stimulated community and economic development, and encouraged the free expression of people from every culture and heritage. The board's efforts have nurtured our creative minds while also contributing to the local and state economy.

In La Crosse, the Wisconsin Arts Board has successfully grown the downtown arts district to encourage people's engagement with the arts. Whether catching a concert of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra or participating in a workshop at the Pump House, La Crosse residents and visitors don't have to look far to find various kinds of art to admire. Thanks to the generous support and investment from the Wisconsin Arts Board, the La Crosse community will continue to be a place where all forms of creativity are encouraged. I will do all that I can to continue to advocate for artistic programming and development in La Crosse, and ensure that there are ample opportunities for all to get involved in our rich arts community.

For a full list of Wisconsin Arts Board grant recipients from La Crosse, click here.



Step Toward Safer Water in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released a proposal Monday that seeks to address the issue of groundwater contamination by revising some of the DNR's administrative rules. The draft rules would be stricter on large farms whose manure runoff contaminates groundwater. The water quality has been especially poor in Kewaunee County, where dangerous pathogens were found in well over half of the tested drinking wells. However, La Crosse County has seen its share of groundwater pollution, with a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) depositing nitrates in the water near the Town of Hollandale.

In a statement, Clean Wisconsin said the DNR is taking a good  first step toward making water in Wisconsin safer, but warned again the fact that the new administrative rules would not cover all of Wisconsin. Unfortunately, this rule does not cover any karst geology that runs along the western side of Wisconsin, in the La Crosse area.

As part of revising their rules, the DNR will prepare an economic impact analysis for the proposed rule changes. A preliminary draft of the rule can be found here. The public has an opportunity to give input for the economic impact analysis between July 7 and August 7. A public meeting will also be held on the proposed permanent rule this fall.



Back to School

With summer already halfway over, school will be back before we know it. That is why I want to take this opportunity to pass on a few resources to help you prepare for sending your students back to school.

To learn more about the School District of La Crosse and fall enrollment, click here.

If your son or daughter will need bus transportation during the school year, you can find more information here

The La Crosse County Health Department will host a series of back-to-school immunization clinics. For a full schedule of the Health Department clinics, click here.

The Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army are collecting school supplies for families who need a little extra help this school year. Click here for program information and for directions on how to donate.



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