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


1984 Play Reading

Friday, March 23

7:30 p.m - 10 p.m.

Pump House Regional Arts Center



March for Our Lives Rally

Saturday, March 24

1 - 3 p.m.

Cameron Park



Cultural Coffee Hour - Folktales

Tuesday, March 27

5 p.m. - 6 p.m.

UW-L Centennial Hall



Easter EGG-stravaganza

Friday, March 30

5:30 p.m. - 7 p..

Children's Museum of 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,

The Assembly convened in extraordinary session on Thursday to vote on several bills that were amended and passed by the Senate. Among these is AB 953, which -- once it is signed by the governor -- will close the Lincoln Hills juvenile correctional facility by 2021. Republicans also passed SB 798, which creates a one-time $100/child tax credit to be paid to parents for each dependent child by September 1, 2018.


In addition, the Assembly took up a number of bills aimed at increasing school safety. We approved a $100 million school safety plan bill, which will be sent to the governor's desk for signature. Two of the other bills that were heard and voted on relate to bullying reporting procedures and use of school camera footage.  You can read more about these in the next section. The Assembly also approved a provision to expand state-level background checks to rifles and shoguns; however, this provision would need to get Senate approval before moving forward.


While this is a good step, one of my main concerns is that these bills are weak and do not do enough to address gun safety. I believe we need to all be involved in the conversation about how to reduce gun violence without infringing on individual rights. For that reason, I hope I will see many of you at the March for our Lives event tomorrow (March 24), which will conclude with a rally at Cameron Park. The march against gun violence will begin at Burns park at 12 p.m., and the rally is scheduled for 1-3 p.m. I will be speaking at the event alongside Sen. Jennifer Shilling and other speakers. The La Crosse march will take place at the same time as others across our state and nation.

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

Please continue reading for more detailed information on the happenings locally and statewide.


Best Wishes,

Jill Billings
State Representative
95th Assembly District




School Safety Bills

On Thursday, March 22, The Wisconsin State Assembly passed AB 1031 and AB 1033, which were part of a larger package of school safety bills Republicans pushed through the legislature at lightning speed this week. These bills passed on a voice vote and are outlined below. While I supported these bills, I do not think they go nearly far enough to keep our children safe. I firmly believe we also need to expand access to mental health services in schools and address issues of gun safety. You can read more about my concerns with this bill package here.

  • AB: 1031: This bill requires parents of students involved in bullying (both those being bullied and those doing the bullying) to be notified by the school district within 48 hours of the incident. Under current law, notification is mandatory, but no timeframe is specified.


  • AB: 1033: Under current law, barring certain exceptions, public school student records remain confidential. This bill would allow for an exception that would permit law enforcement to access security camera footage when it serves a legitimate public safety interest.

Yesterday, I spoke on the Assembly floor in favor of expanded mental health services in schools and universal background checks on guns purchase.




Conservation Congress Meetings

The annual Conservation Congress county meetings will take place on Monday, April 9. These meetings, all of which will start at 7 p.m., will take place concurrently in all 72 Wisconsin Counties. The meetings allow for public input on environmental and conservation issues. Individuals in attendance can weigh in by providing testimony and casting non-binding votes on proposed rule changes and advisory questions regarding fish and wildlife management in our state. In addition, residents of the county have an opportunity to run for a seat on the Conservation Congress as well as to elect Conservation Congress delegates from their county. The meetings also provide an opportunity for those in attendance to use the citizen resolution process to bring to attention new conservation issues affecting the whole state.

The La Crosse County meeting will take place in the Onalaska High School Performing Arts Center (700 Hilltopper Place, Onalaska). You can access the 2018 spring hearing questionnaire here and the event flyer here.




Relentless Badger Award

I was honored to be presented with the Relentless Badger Award earlier this week. Independent Living Resources in La Crosse gave me this award for meeting with them to learn more about the work they do, as well as for my work on the Speaker's Task Force on Foster Care. The work  ILR does intersects with foster care in a number of interesting and useful ways. Thank you to ILR in La Crosse and the entire Independent Living Network for everything they do for our community and for this wonderful award!



Meeting with Constituents of the 95th District

Last weekend, I attended the Governor's Conference on Tourism, where I had the opportunity to witness Explore La Crosse's Amy Gabay receive the Excellence in Tourism Industry Award. She was recognized for her leadership and passion for tourism, as well as her hard work in overseeing a grant program that is anticipated to put $80,000 back into our community. Thank you for all you do, Amy, and congratulations!


Every year, I have the opportunity to meet with Civil Air Patrol cadets when they visit the Capitol. I always enjoy meeting with these young people who are leaders in our schools and communities.


Sandy Brekke from Gundersen Health System spoke at a presentation on social determinants of health earlier this week. She spoke on the importance of thinking of housing as healthcare and emphasized the work of the La Crosse Collaborative to End Homelessness, which uses a housing-first model to fight homelessness. The group has been very successful in finding housing for veterans: they have housed a total of 42 veterans, 93% of whom remain in stable housing. Thank you for sharing your expertise, Sandy, and for all you do for La Crosse!




Opportunity for Public Input on Healthcare Waiver

Last week, a public hearing was held in the La Crosse area to collect feedback on a draft waiver, which would allow for the state of Wisconsin to utilize federal funding in order to promote a state-based reinsurance plan. This reinsurance plan will aim to expand consumer choice, lower the impact of premium increases, and provide for a more stable individual market for health insurance plans. Under the Affordable Care Act, this waiver allows for states to pursue resourceful strategies such as this one that assure residents access to affordable health options. I believe that ensuring Wisconsin residents access to affordance health insurance is a very important matter, and I would encourage all of you to provide feedback on the draft waiver.

Although the public hearing has already taken place, the window for public comment is open until April 14, 2018. Public comments may be sent to, and more information regarding this legislation as well last week's public hearing can be found here.



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