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



Prayer to End Human Trafficking

February 8 

English Lutheran Church



La Crosse Boat, Sports, Travel, RV & Hunting Show

February 7-10

The La Crosse Center



Out of Our Minds Chamber Music Series: "Too Early, Too Late"

February 17

Fine Arts Center, Nola Starling Recital Hall



Public Planetarium
Program: "The Universe of Dr. Einstein"

February 9

UW-L Planetarium, 20 Cowley Hall






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


(608) 266-5780
Toll Free:

(888) 534-0095


Friends and Neighbors,


The past two weeks have seen the initiation of the 2019-2020 legislative session, with committee meetings picking up around the Capitol. Last week I began to circulate my Safe Harbor bill, which would prevent victims of human-trafficking from being prosecuted for prostitution. I've introduced similar versions of this bill during past sessions, and am hopeful it will get a hearing in the coming months, as it has received widespread bi-partisan support so far.

This past Tuesday, I also met with Governor Evers to discuss my top legislative and budget priorities for this session, including asking for his support of the Safe Harbor bill when it crosses his desk. Our meeting was productive, and we discussed a broad range of issues that have impacted and will continue to impact the Coulee region.

For those of you who have called into or visited my office in the past few weeks, you may have noticed a new friendly staffer in my office. I am delighted to announce that I have hired our former intern, Kendall Oehler, as a member of our office staff. Kendall is a graduate of Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and we're very lucky to have her help for this new legislative session. Welcome, Kendall!

As always, please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns. You can always contact my office by calling (608) 266-5780 or emailing me at

Please continue reading for brief local and statewide updates.


Best Wishes,

Jill Billings
State Representative
95th Assembly District




Governor Evers: 2019 is the Year of Clean Drinking Water

In his State of the State address on January 22, Governor Tony Evers declared 2019 the "year of clean drinking water," emphasizing the importance of addressing the water quality issues facing our state. Referring to our state’s "lead crisis," Governor Evers pledged to select a member of the Department of Health Services to oversee the replacement of lead pipes across the state and to designate federal funds for the project. Lead can be found in the pipes that feed water to old homes and may enter drinking water if the pipes corrode. There is no known safe amount of lead exposure for children.

Governor Evers also acknowledged health problems related to contaminated wells, which has been an ongoing issue in the La Crosse region for years. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, four out of every ten homes in Wisconsin rely on private wells for drinking water, and at the same time, an estimated 47% of private wells do not meet health-based standards for bacteria, nitrates or heavy metals.

Governor Evers' clean water priorities mirror my own efforts to restore clean water in La Crosse County. Last session, I authored AB 881/SB 739, otherwise known as the Water Pollutant Notification Act, which would compel the DNR to alert any potentially affected well owners if a nearby Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit holder violates their permit, as well as to alert the county and residents of the impact area in a timely manner. I plan to introduce the Water Pollutant Notification Act again this session, and it is my hope that Governor Evers' highlighting of water quality issues will bolster my efforts and will benefit both the residents of the 95th Assembly District and Wisconsin at large.



February is Heart Health Awareness Month

The beginning of February marks the start of Heart Health Awareness month, a nationally recognized, month-long heart health awareness campaign. I am proud to advocate for this issue as a leading sponsor of AJR 3 this session, which declares February American Hearth Month, alongside Representative Ballweg. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, but it is preventable by engaging in a healthy lifestyle and being aware of risk factors and symptoms.


There are a number of simple practices that you can implement into your life to reduce your risk of heart related issues. Specifically, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends walking at least 20 minutes per day and engaging in 150 minutes of exercise a week, as doing so can reduce your risk of suffering from a cardiovascular disease, such as a heart attack or a stroke, by helping to lower blood pressure. The AHA also recommends eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, poultry, fish, and nuts so as to reduce sodium, sugar, and red meat intake and keep cholesterol low.


According to the AHA, 41.5% (102.7 million) of the United States population suffers from a cardiovascular disease and every 40 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a heart attack. It is my hope that by wearing red and spreading awareness about the causes and symptoms of heart disease throughout the month of February, we can reduce the number of those impacted and can promote healthy hearts throughout La Crosse.




Children's Caucus Meeting in January

As a co-chair of the bi-cameral, bi-partisan Legislative Children’s Caucus, I was happy to help organize our first meeting of the 2019-2020 legislative session on Thursday, January 17th. Dr. Lonnie Berger of the University of Wisconsin Madison's Institute for Research on Poverty presented on "Complex Contemporary Families and Public Policy," and relayed to legislators that when making policy in 2019, it is important to keep in mind the array of forms a family can take. You can watch Dr. Berger's presentation here.


Rep. Billings in Madison


Representatives from Altra Credit Union came to visit my office last week to talk about the volunteer work they do to promote fiscal literacy in the La Crosse community.



We celebrated UW-La Crosse students and alumni this week at the UW-La Crosse alumni reception in Madison, and I also met with UW-L students advocating on behalf of the university in my office.


This past week I also met with folks from the La Crosse Area Family YMCA, who came to discuss the childcare and children's mental health services they offer to the community.



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