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

(608) 266-5780

Toll Free:
(888) 534-0095



Friends and Neighbors,

On February 16th Governor Evers delivered his 2021-23 biennial budget address. The Governor’s budget proposal includes numerous provisions that would directly impact the Coulee Region, some of which I included in my budget request to the Governor’s office. The Governor's 2021-23 biennial budget proposal invests in education, protections for our environment, and supporting our economy through COVID. I am particularly excited about Governor Evers' plan to support early childhood education. Residents of La Crosse and Wisconsinites around the state deserve a budget that helps us all bounce back from the global pandemic crisis.

After Governor Evers outlined his biennial budget proposal during the budget address, it was sent to the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) – a committee made up of both senators and representatives – which will host public hearings on the budget in the coming weeks. After the hearings, the Joint Finance Committee will deliberate and vote on the contents of the budget. Once the budget is voted on by the Joint Finance Committee, it will be presented to the Assembly and the Senate for debate, amendment proposals, and a floor vote. Finally, the budget will be sent to the Governor’s office to be signed into law or vetoed.

The graphic below outlines the complex biennial budget process. Senator Pfaff and I are also planning to jointly host virtual budget listening sessions, so keep an eye on Facebook and future newsletters for more information on these listening sessions and details of the Governor’s budget. 

As always, please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns by calling (608) 266-5780 or emailing me at Rep.Billings@legis.wi.gov.

Best Wishes,


Jill Billings
State Representative 
95th Assembly District

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 State Assembly Takes Action on Unemployment Insurance (UI) System

After nearly one year of inaction, the Wisconsin State Assembly passed Special Session Senate Bill 1 earlier this week. Senate Bill 1 will address urgent issues necessary for unemployed Wisconsinites to receive support during the COVID-19 pandemic and take some first steps toward addressing long-standing deficiencies in the state’s unemployment insurance (UI) infrastructure.

Among other provisions, Senate Bill 1 extends the flexibilities in the unemployment insurance work-share program and eliminates the 1-week waiting period until March 13th. I believe this waiting period should be permanently removed, especially when the federal government has passed legislation to reimburse the state for some of that week of benefits. Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues declined to act on Assembly Amendment 2, which would have repealed the one week waiting period whenever federal unemployment programs are deployed and assisting with payment for the first week of benefits. This means the waiting period will go back into effect on March 13th if no further action is taken by the State Legislature, which ultimately harms those depending on these benefits to put food on their table and pay their rent and other basic living expenses. 

You can view other provisions of Senate Bill 1 here.

Legislation to Support Small Local Businesses Signed into Law

On February 18, Governor Evers signed Assembly Bill 2 into law as 2021 Wisconsin Act 1. Assembly Bill 2 contains numerous changes to the laws administered and enforced by the Department of Revenue (DOR). Most notable, Assembly Bill 2 contains a provision that would provide approximately $450 million in tax relief to Wisconsin businesses and $30 million more in tax relief to low-income families by adopting federal changes to align state tax law.

Last week, I voted in favor of Assembly Bill 2 and am more than supportive of providing this sort of relief to struggling businesses. However, I recognize that Assembly Bill 2 does not go far enough at providing targeted assistance to the many small businesses struggling throughout the state, so I will continue to work with my colleagues to make that happen.

Healthcare.Gov has Re-opened for Americans to Enroll in Health Insurance Coverage

On January 28, President Biden signed an executive order to open a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals and families for Marketplace coverage in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, which has left millions of Americans facing uncertainty and exceptional circumstances while millions of Americans have experienced new health problems during the pandemic. This SEP will allow individuals and families in states with Marketplaces served by the HealthCare.gov platform to enroll in 2021 health insurance coverage beginning February 15, 2021 through May 15, 2021. 

On February 1, Governor Evers along with Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable encouraged Wisconsinites who missed either the original enrollment deadline or their first payment for their enrolled plan to review and take advantage of this SEP. Most people on a HealthCare.gov plan qualify for financial help that lowers their monthly payment. People who would like to know if they qualify are encouraged to call 2-1-1 or visit WisCovered.com to find free, expert help. These experts can help you understand your coverage, simplify the enrollment process, and help you select a plan that fits your family and your budget.

For more information about the Health Insurance Marketplace you can also view the Getting a Health Insurance Marketplace Guide. 

Travel Wisconsin Snow Report

I want to take a moment to share with you Travel Wisconsin’s Snow Report. This interactive tool provides the latest conditions at downhill ski and snowboard hills, cross-country ski areas, and snowmobile trails across Wisconsin. With more than 100 reporters in all 72 counties keeping the report updated, it is a trusted resource for snow enthusiasts looking to return to a favorite spot or discover a hidden gem. I encourage you to utilize this tool as you continue to safely enjoy Wisconsin winters and support our state’s tourism industry.