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


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June 15
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June 19
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Big Blue Dragon Boat Festival
June 22
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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,


With warm weather and the school year ending, it certainly feels like summer. Yet, it continues to be a busy time in the State Capitol. The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) is still meeting each week voting on portions of the state budget. The JFC is finishing their work today, but have been debating and voting on some of the more contentious parts of the budget, including transportation, CAFOs, stewardship funding and Medicaid.


Meanwhile, Wisconsin celebrated the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment on Monday, June 10th. On this date in 1919, members of the Wisconsin Legislature passed Joint Resolution No. 64, ratifying the 19th Amendment in Wisconsin. On Monday, the Wisconsin Historical Society unveiled this document and had it on display in the State Capitol. The La Crosse League of Women Voters also hosted an event where suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt, Alice Green Hixon, Carroll McCarty Gundersen, and Allyson Fergot came to life and told their stories. You can see more of the celebrations in the photo section below.


Finally, today the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality is holding a public meeting in La Crosse. This is the sixth public meeting the committee has held. I’m in attendance today and am thankful to the many groups and individuals who are coming to voice their concerns and solutions.


Read below for more information on Joint Finance Committee Actions, introduction of election reforms, and some tips on how to “fight the bite” this summer.

Best Wishes, 

Jill Billings
State Representative 
95th Assembly District

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Transportation Budget Vote

You don’t have to drive (or even bike) too far down any road these days before getting frustrated with the conditions of our roads. Transportation funding is a hot button issue in the capitol and throughout the state. As a state, we’ve wrestled with determining the perfect recipe of tax, fees, tolls, and streamlining that will provide our state a long-term solution to repairing our roads. Governor Evers traveled the state holding listening sessions on the issue and even compiled a committee of transportation leaders to evaluate possible solutions.


In his budget, Governor Evers put forth a plan that would have provided a long-term funding solution to transportation in the state--and a plan that would have generated substantial revenue from out-of-state drivers. However, Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee rejected Governor Evers plan. Instead, they put forth a plan that only addresses transportation funding for the next biennium, yet again, kicking the problem of a long-term solution down the proverbial road. The GOP’s plan calls for title and registration fee increases and general purpose revenue transfers. This puts the funding burden solely on Wisconsinites, giving those from Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois traveling in our state a “free ride”. There isn’t going to be a perfect recipe for transportation funding that will make everyone happy, but a long-term compromise needs to be developed to secure our transportation system now and for the future. 


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A Push for Open Democracy in Wisconsin

In the wake of the Joint Finance Republicans’ removal of several good government reforms from Governor Evers’ budget, Democrats in the legislature introduced these reforms as stand-alone legislation.


Non-Partisan Redistricting Bill:

The Non-Partisan Redistricting Bill, was introduced by State Senator Dave Hansen alongside the Assembly Democrats freshman legislators. This legislation reforms how political districts are drawn in Wisconsin, by removing politicians’ control over the redistricting process, which has led to gerrymandered districts. This bill would instead put the responsibility of drawing district lines with the non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau and a non-partisan redistricting commission.

Voters in La Crosse County and the state agree this is a needed change. A referendum on the topic in La Crosse County in April gained support of 77% of voters. Meanwhile the April 2018 Marquette Law School poll found 72% of Wisconsinites statewide support the measure. I believe it’s past time for state legislators to listen to the will of their constituents on this issue and I have signed on as an author of the legislation.


Automatic Voter Registration:

The Automatic Voter Registration Bill is authored by Senator Hansen and Representative Crowley, and they held a press conference with Governor Evers on Monday, May 20th to announce the bill’s introduction. This legislation creates a fair and easy way for people to be registered to vote in Wisconsin. The bill would automatically register state residents when they renew or obtain a driver’s license or state ID card. I have signed on as a co-sponsor to this legislation as well. We owe it to our constituents to exert our best efforts to make their voices heard.


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Fight the Bite


As the weather turns warm and Wisconsin turns green, pests like mosquitoes and ticks are back. It is important to remember that these nuisances can spread bacteria and disease to you, your family, and your pets.


To protect yourself the Wisconsin Department of Health Services  has a host of resources on how to best Fight the Bite. Information includes what insect repellents to apply and what attire will keep your skin safe. DHS also recommends that you can lower your risk of exposure by cutting your grass regularly, limiting your time in wooded or tall grass areas, and getting rid of standing water around your home in order to stop mosquitoes from breeding near you.


Summer is a wonderful time to be outdoors in Wisconsin, so don’t let these pests stop you and your family from taking advantage of the long, warm days.

Suffrage Centennial Celebration & Resources

It was empowering to celebrate Wisconsin’s Suffrage Centennial this week. There are more events throughout the state and throughout the year leading up to August 18, 2020, which marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment being ratified to the United States Constitution. You can find information about events and learn more about the suffrage movement and resources at WomenVoteWI.wi.gov. This website will be updated throughout the year, so check back often.


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Members of the Wisconsin 19th Amendment Celebration Committee


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Myself and Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Mary Kolar (a UW-La Crosse graduate)


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A Wisconsin Historical Society Employee placing the Certification document under glass for the public to view


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The Wisconsin Joint Resolution that ratified the 19th Amendment
with the State Capitol Dome reflecting in the glass

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 Visiting with longtime League of Women Voters (LWV) member June Kjome at the La Crosse LVW Centennial Event


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Presenting the Joint Resolution recognizing the Suffrage Centennial in Wisconsin to Deb Lutjen at the LVW event