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


Memory Cafe! La Crosse County ADRC

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 from 11am – 1pm

Black River Beach Community Center 

Sierra Club Water Quality Program

Thursday, January 28, 2020 from 7pm - 8:30 pm

Ho-Chunk Three Rivers House

Irish Music Session

Wednesdays, 7pm

1310 Denton Street


Thursday, January 30, 2020, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The Center, 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection

WAFER Mobile Food Pantry

Thursday, February 6th, 2020 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

South Community Library 


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

(608) 266-5780

Toll Free:
(888) 534-0095



Friends and Neighbors,

The last couple weeks have been busy with capitol visits from groups in the district, two legislative session days, multiple public hearing testimonies, bill introductions, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and many more events.

On Wednesday, Governor Tony Evers delivered the 2020 State of the State Address. The Governor highlighted significant accomplishments of 2019 including cutting taxes for middle-class families, increasing funding for schools and children, and making historic investments in Wisconsin’s infrastructure. However, he recognized that we can do much more to move our state forward. Governor Evers emphasized the importance of providing additional support for Wisconsin’s agricultural industry and farmers. He echoed the message that “what’s best for kids is what’s best for our state” in his commitment to make education more accessible and finding practical solutions to address the student debt crisis. Lastly, he stressed the significance of nonpartisan redistricting in Wisconsin, stating that we need to ensure fair elections and that people choose their elected officials, not the other way around.

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Please continue reading for articles on new initiatives to combat youth vaping, bills impacting the Coulee Region, opioid legislation passing the Assembly, Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and how to participate in a photo and writing competition about Wisconsin’s great waters.

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 Rep.Billings@legis.wi.gov.


Best Wishes, 

Jill Billings
State Representative 
95th Assembly District

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V.A.P.E (Vaping, Awareness, Prevention, Enforcement) Initiatives Introduced

Earlier this week, I proposed legislation that would provide funding for a statewide public health campaign aimed at the prevention of tobacco and electronic cigarette use. Some of those funds may be used by local and regional organizations to provide cessation services to Wisconsin youth. This proposal is part of a larger initiative to combat youth vape use in Wisconsin. The legislation package includes: expanding the Department of Health Services (DHS) authority regarding public health emergencies; requiring vapor product retailers to obtain a license and add additional state compliance enforcement staff; and banning vapor products on K-12 campuses. Further, the Governor announced a number of administrative actions to address this public health crisis.

The 2018 Wisconsin Youth Tobacco Survey found that e-cigarette use by high school students increased 154% between 2014 and 2018. The survey also found that 1 in 3 high school students have tried e-cigarettes and 1 in 5 are current users. In La Crosse County, the recent Tobacco Youth Risk Behavior Survey, found that over 40% of 11th and 12th graders have tried vaping. While the same local survey found of those high school students who are vape or tobacco users, an average of 38% tried to quit within the past year.


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Bills to Address Coulee Region Issues Receive Public Hearing

Recently, the Assembly Committee on Environment held a public hearing on two bills I authored that will positively impact the La Crosse area. Both Assembly Bill 700 (AB 700) and Assembly Bill 713 (AB 713) came directly from requests within our community.

I introduced AB 700, the Water Pollution Notification Act, with Senator Jennifer Shilling. As noted in previous E-Newsletters, the goal of this bipartisan legislation is to keep communities informed if there is a possibility that local well water is contaminated.

Assembly Bill 713 provides an exemption to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) tipping fee on the residue not suitable for fuel at waste-to-energy plants like the one in La Crosse. The proposal would bring parity among other exemptions already granted to demolition material recycling facilities (2013 Wisconsin Act 301). For over 30 years, La Crosse county and Xcel Energy have been partners in lowering landfill disposal of municipal waste by reusing this waste to generate energy. This has been a unique innovation of the Coulee Region, turning area waste into energy.


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HOPE (Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education) Legislation to Combat the Opioid Epidemic Passes the Assembly

Last week, the Assembly passed a series of bills designed to combat Wisconsin’s heroin epidemic. If signed into law, the bill package would expand access and treatment options for Wisconsinites.  The Heroin, Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) legislation would improve access to recovery housing, recovery coaches, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). The bills would also provide protections for employees undergoing MAT, extend the prescription drug monitoring program, and expand the Good Samaritan law.

As a co-sponsor of this package and a member of the Committee on Substance Abuse and Prevention, I am proud to see that the Assembly unanimously passed this bill package that aims to improve access to care and treatment options for Wisconsinites. I know the work does not stop here in our fight against the opioid and other drug abuse epidemic, and I will continue to advocate for policies that will improve the health outcomes of our state.


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January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month

To recognize Human Trafficking Awareness Month, I authored Assembly Joint Resolution 116 officially denoting the state’s recognition of this month, the wide breadth of the issue, and what Wisconsin is doing to address human trafficking. As an advocate on this issue in the Legislature, I was pleased that the Governor signed into law a bill I authored. Wisconsin Act 27, Truckers against Trafficking, trains Wisconsin’s commercial drivers to recognize and prevent human trafficking in our state and across the nation. Further, I will continue to advocate for a safe harbor bill to ensure that trafficked youth aren’t treated as criminals.

To learn more about the prevalence of human trafficking and tools to identify and prevent trafficking in Wisconsin, I encourage you to check out the following websites:

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families: Wisconsin Anti-Human Trafficking

Wisconsin Department of Justice: Human Trafficking


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Photo and Writing Competition about Wisconsin’s Great Waters

If you happened to spend time on the water this year and took some great pictures, now is your time to share them! The DNR is assembling their annual “Wisconsin’s Great Waters” calendar, and are looking for submissions. They are looking for photos taken on Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and the Mississippi River, in one of four categories. If you have photos of people enjoying the water, a weather feature or natural phenomenon on the water, wildlife on the water, or a historic Wisconsin site such as a lighthouse or historic town, submit them by February 1st, 2020, to be included in the calendar. Entries are limited to three per person, and should be emailed to DNRGreatWatersPhotoContest@wisconsin.gov as a jpeg, with one photo, with name, per email. Along with the email, please include your full name, email address, phone number, and mailing address, and the location and category your photo pertains to.

The DNR is also running a writing competition for any and all original poems, songs, short stories, and personal essays inspired by the aforementioned bodies of water. They are also interested in hearing about stewardship efforts being taken to restore or preserve the shore, backwaters, wetlands, or beaches by groups or individuals. These writing samples should be limited to 200 words, submitted to DNRGreatWatersWritingProject@Wisconsin.gov. These entries should also include the author’s name, home address, email, and phone number. These entries may appear in the calendar, on the website, in future publications, or displays. Visit the Great Waters contest website for more information.

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Rep. Billings in Madison and La Crosse


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Presenting a State Citation with Lee Nerison to Al Lorenz for 40 years of service to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission


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Testifying with Representative Joan Ballweg and Senators LaTonya Johnson and Alberta Darling to update some child protection standards in Wisconsin


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 Representative Loren Oldenburg, Representative Treig Pronschinske, and I met with ABATE of Wisconsin members, a motorcycle rights & safety organization.


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Monthly forum hosted by the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce at the Le Chateau


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Local firefighters advocating in the Capitol


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Keith Purnell, the Viterbo Director of Military Aligned Student Support and Recruitment, testified in front of the Assembly Colleges and University committee.


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Took time to cheer on La Crosse Central grad, Kobe King, at the Badger game