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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,

I hope you have found ways to enjoy this spring-like weather we have been experiencing in recent weeks. I have stayed busy with walks through the marsh, virtual visits with constituents, budget listening sessions, committee meetings, and traveling to Madison for numerous floor sessions. 

As I’m sure most of you have heard, earlier this month, Wisconsin reached an important milestone in its vaccine distribution efforts—more than 2 million doses of COVID vaccine has been administered, which means that more than one-fifth of Wisconsinites have received at least the first dose of the COVID vaccine. As of March 25, over 2,500,000 COVID vaccine doses have been administered to Wisconsinites.

Our state continues to be a national leader in vaccine administration and routinely ranks at or near the top of the list both nationally and in the Midwest in terms of the percentage of vaccine supply administered. The success of Wisconsin’s COVID vaccine distribution would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of DHS’s vaccine team, local and tribal public health, and the many vaccinating partners throughout the state.

In addition, people that are 16 and older with certain medical conditions associated with an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are now eligible for the vaccine. You can view a list of qualifying medical conditions here. This decision was based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and is supported by Wisconsin’s medical experts.

I would also encourage you to register with the Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine Registry, which allows Wisconsin residents to register for and schedule COVID-19 vaccinations locally – when they are eligible and as vaccine becomes available. Those who are not eligible or unable to get an appointment have the option of being placed on a wait list. You can view our local COVID vaccine providers here

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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Share Your Thoughts on the 2021-23 Budget with Members of the Joint Finance Committee

Governor Evers’s 2021-23 biennial budget proposal includes provisions to improve our education system, protect our environment, increase access to quality healthcare, and address many other issues impacting the Coulee Region. You can read about the Governor’s biennial budget proposal here.

As many of you know, the budget that was presented by the Governor will look much different after the Joint Finance Committee completes their budget deliberation process, so I would encourage you to express your support or opposition for certain budget items with members of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) as they have the ability to add or remove provisions from the Governor’s 2021-23 biennial budget proposal. In April, the JFC will be hosting three in-person public hearings and one virtual public hearing on the 2021-23 biennial budget. The public hearing schedule is as follows:

  1. Friday, April 9, 2021 @ UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, WI
  2. Wednesday, April 21, 2021 @ The Hodag Dome, Rhinelander, WI
  3. Thursday, April 22, 2021 @ UW-Stout, Menomonie, WI
  4. Wednesday, April 28, 2021 @ Virtual

The Joint Finance Committee created a website that provides details of these public hearings to interested Wisconsinites. You can also use this website or this dedicated email address (budget.comments@legis.wisconsin.gov) to provide input on the budget.

State Building Commission Failed to Make a Recommendation on Phase 2 of UW-La Crosse’s Prairie Springs Project

On March 17, I participated in the State Building Commission’s meeting to review and provide recommendations on state building projects included in the Governor’s 2021-23 capital budget proposal.

Unfortunately, in a repeat performance of 2019-21, Republican members of the Commission opposed all projects, which will be forwarded to the Joint Committee on Finance without recommendation on a 4-4 tie vote. This is only the second time this has happened in the last 50 years, the first being the last budget. Typically the Building Commission operates with its members coming from both houses, both parties, and the Governor, setting aside partisanship to review the merits and needs of the building proposals and to support projects that are needed and benefit the State of Wisconsin.

Since the Building Commission failed to make recommendations, the decisions on which projects will be funded will be made by the Joint Committee on Finance. The UW-La Crosse Prairie Springs Phase 2 project’s fate lies in their hands. I voted to support the project in the Subcommittee and on the Building Commission. Advocates in the La Crosse community and UW-La Crosse alumni across the state should contact the Joint Committee on Finance at budget.comments@legis.wi.gov with their support for the Prairie Springs Phase 2 project and its importance to our campus and our community.

State Moratorium on Utility Disconnections to End April 15, Utility and Rental Payment Assistance Information

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) voted unanimously to allow utilities to move forward with disconnection of service for nonpayment at the end of the annual winter moratorium after April 15, 2021. To avoid disconnection, customers who have fallen behind on payments are encouraged to first contact their utility provider to set up a payment plan. If customers are having difficulty paying their energy bills, they may be eligible for assistance from the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP). To apply online go to energybenefit.wi.gov or apply by phone at 1-800-506-5596.

As part of federal stimulus funding from the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Governor Evers announced more than $322 million in funding is available for Wisconsinites under the Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program to help support Wisconsinites who have experienced income loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program, administered by the Department of Administration (DOA), provides direct financial assistance for rent, utility, home energy costs, and wraparound services for individuals who qualify. Residents from La Crosse County can visit the Couleecap website for more information on how to apply for this assistance. 

Wisconsin DNR and DHS Provide Information on PFAS Contamination in Town of Campbell

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Health Services (DHS) staff presented information yesterday on PFAS contamination and the new drinking water advisory on French Island. This presentation covered what is currently known about the contamination, the next steps in testing, and how to receive bottled water. In addition, residents can visit the DNR’s new website for up-to-date information, subscribe to updates, and see upcoming public meetings. You can view the information session here

Wisconsin Conservation Congress Public Input Opportunity Begins April 12 at 7 p.m.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will once again hold the annual Spring Hearings online. The public will have the opportunity to provide input on the natural resources proposed rule changes from the DNR and advisory questions from the Natural Resources Board (NRB) and WCC through the online input option which will open on April 12, 2021, at 7 p.m. and will remain open for 72 hours. The link will be posted here closer to the date.