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(608)266-5780 | State Capitol, Room 307 West, P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Now until December 23
5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday, December 2
Saturday, December 9
8:30 - 10 a.m.
Children's Museum of La Crosse
Sunday, Dec. 17
3 - 4:30 p.m.
Friends and Neighbors,
I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.
This week, the Foster Care Task Force released a package of 13 bills targeting six key areas in need of attention. The "Foster Forward" package is based on recommendations from foster families, youth, professionals and judges from all across the state, and the bills focus on supporting these stakeholders, as well as on prevention whenever possible.
I spearheaded two of the bills in the package, one of which would provide tuition remission and support programming for college students who were formerly in foster care. The second would make it easier for foster youth to receive oral health services by clarifying a foster parent's right to consent to dental treatment for the child. I believe we need to approach improving our state's out-of-home care system from all sides, and I am hoping these bills will be passed on the floor early into the new year. You can read more about the package here.
As always, 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
Wisconsin Leads in Drug Take Back Efforts
One of the many initiatives the Governor's Task Force on Opioid Abuse has been encouraging is increasing drug take back efforts. As member of the task force, I am proud to announce that 63,941 lbs of prescription medications were turned in throughout Wisconsin during October's Drug Take Back Day, making this year's event the most successful yet. These drugs were shrink-wrapped, boxed and securely sent to Covanta Energy Corporation in Indiana, where they were promptly incinerated. Wisconsin had more drug disposal sites set up than 46 other states. In addition, there are now more than 349 permanent drug disposal drop boxes set up across our state, including one set up in the La Crosse Police Department building. Open Monday-Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, the box is a great resource for disposing unwanted and/or expired prescription medication anonymously and without checking in. Drugs can also be returned at the West Ave. Walgreens and Gundersen, as well as at the Onalaska, Holmen, Town of Campbell, West Salem and Bangor police departments
In January, the task force will hear from Pew Charitable Trusts on research they have gathered across the state including in La Crosse. Stay tuned for recommendations from the task force in the new year.
Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act Ends Soon
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrolment period will close on December 15. That means you have only two weeks to check out the health insurance and financial assistance options you may be eligible for. The ACA is open to people in all Wisconsin counties, and it has already helped millions of people to get insurance. If you have not already done so, be sure to visit the ACA website and learn more about how you can sign up or update your coverage.
To share your ACA story and let us know which provisions of the ACA are most important to you, please complete the Legislative Democrats' health care survey, found here.
Gift Card Safety Practices for the Holidays
Gift cards are a great option this holiday season for shoppers and gift recipients alike. However, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection urges shoppers to follow a few precautions when buying or receiving gift cards. First, a recent widespread scam promised gift cards from a major retailer in exchange for completing a survey. Those who took the survey never received their gift cards and the scammers collected their personal information entered in the survey. Be wary of promises of free gift cards; some such scams can even use a phone number to sign up for "services" on phone bills without consumers' authorization.
DNR Update: Successful Nine-day Deer Hunt
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is reporting a successful nine-day deer hunt. There were no fatalities amongst the seven reported hunting incidents, indicating a continuation of the overall downward trend in hunting incidents and fatalities. Chief Conservation Warden Todd Schaller gives credit to the sportsmen and sportswomen who safely used firearm principles. He also thanks the thousands of volunteers who host hunter safety courses throughout Wisconsin.
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