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(608)266-5780 | State Capitol, Room 307 West, P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 | email@example.com
Saturday, October 7
Pearl Street Brewery
Saturday, October 14
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
English Lutheran Church
Saturday, October 14
Downtown La Crosse
Saturday, October 14 -
Sunday, October 15
8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Veterans Memorial State Park in West Salem
Friday, October 20
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Copeland Park Oktoberfest Grounds
Friends and Neighbors,
It has been a busy couple of weeks, both in La Crosse and at the Capitol. I enjoyed the opportunity to see and talk with many of you during Oktoberfest. I am always impressed how well versed folks in La Crosse are about legislative goings on, and I appreciated everyone who took the time to talk to me about the issues important to them.
After a weekend well spent in La Crosse, I headed back to Madison to prepare for a public hearing on the Sexually Exploited Children Protection Act, a bill I authored at the beginning of this session. The bill aims to protect children who are victims of human trafficking from being prosecuted as criminals. Currently, these victims can be arrested for the acts they were forced to commit, which discourages many from coming forward to get the help and services they need. By giving these child victims immunity from criminal prosecution, we will allow law enforcement to focus on the criminals who are selling and buying sex from minors. You can read my statement on the bill here.
During the past two weeks, I also had an opportunity to show our community to some fellow legislators as we all traveled to La Crosse for the most recent meeting of the Speaker's Task Force on Foster Care. We toured the La Crosse Family and Children's Center and heard from area service providers and advocates on the court system and processes for termination of parental rights. We also discussed strategies to strengthen families and promote individual well-being. It was a productive meeting that set the stage of our upcoming meeting in Milwaukee.
Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns. You can contact my office by calling (608) 266-5780 or emailing me at Rep.Billings@legis.wi.gov.
Please continue reading for more detailed information on the happenings both in La Crosse and statewide.
95th Assembly District
Blue Books Have Arrived
The 2017-18 edition of the Blue Book, the Wisconsin State Legislature's guide to government, is now available. This book is the most current and complete resource for information about the organization and functions of our government, elected and appointed state leaders and statewide statistical data. This year's version features a special section titled "Knocking on the Door: Women in the Wisconsin Legislature." This section provides an in-depth look at the vital role women have played in shaping and leading the modern Wisconsin legislature.
I would be happy to provide you a free copy of the Blue Book upon request. Additionally, if you know another person or organization who would like a complimentary copy, please encourage them to contact me and my office would be more than happy to assist them.
To request a copy of the 2017-18 Blue Book, please respond to this email with your name and mailing address, or click here to fill out a request form.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic abuse is a prevalent issue throughout the country, with one in four women and one in seven men experiencing domestic violence during their lifetime. This abuse has many negative long-term impacts on a person's mental health, productivity, earning potential and can even negatively impact their children's mental well-being.
In La Crosse, individuals and families experiencing domestic abuse can find help at New Horizons Shelter and Outreach Center. New Horizons provides emergency shelter and food to victims of domestic violence and their children, as well as support and advocacy for parents and their children during their shelter stay. The organization also provides clothing and personal care items donated by community members. New Horizons is active in our community, and hosted a Walk to End Abuse in La Crosse this Wednesday. For more information about New Horizon's services and events, visit the organization's website.
New La Crosse Area Commuter Bus Line Opens
As the ranking member of the Workforce Development Committee, I know that lack of reliable transportation can be a barrier to employment. For this reason, I was glad to see off the inaugural ride for the new expanded Scenic Mississippi Regional Transit (SMRT) bus route this Monday. The new line will provide additional service from Tomah, Sparta and communities along I-90 toward La Crosse. The SMRT bus already provides commuters affordable transportation between La Crosse, Prairie du Chien and Viroqua. The SMRT bus is available weekdays and provides one-way bus tickets for $3. The bus also features free Wi-Fi, is handicap accessible. Each route runs early in the morning, mid-morning, early afternoon and late afternoon. SMRT buses have successfully transported nearly 21,000 residents of La Crosse, Vernon and Crawford counties since 2013. For more information on bus routes and the SMRT Bus, click here.
DNR Update: Changes to Deer and Turkey Tag Requirements
The fall seasons for turkey hunting and archery/crossbow deer hunting have begun! In an effort to clear up any confusion about the new requirements to deer and turkey tagging, the DNR no longer requires deer and turkey carcass tags to be issued with licenses. Additionally, the attachment of carcass tags is no longer mandatory. However, registration of harvested deer and turkey is still necessary. The DNR will continue to honor previously issued tags during harvest registration, but a turkey or deer harvest authorization number can be used as well during registration. To learn more about these changes, click here.
Also, this weekend, Oct. 7 and 8, is Wisconsin's youth deer hunt. The youth deer hunt is open to young hunters, ages 10-15, with or without a hunter education certificate. All youth hunters must be accompanied by a mentor.
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