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


Monday Night at the Movies

Mondays, 6:00-8:00 p.m. 

La Crosse Public Library

Moon Tunes

Thursdays, 5:30-8:00 p.m. 

Riverside Park

Mediterranean Food and Cultural Festival

Sunday, July 14th, 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.

St. Elias Orthodox Church

Jazz in the Park

Sunday, July 14th and Sunday, July 21st, 7:00 p.m.

Riverside Park

Rain location: Cavalier Theater

La Crosse Concert Band

Wednesdays in July, 7:30 p.m.

Riverside Park

Conductor: Jeff Copp

Theme: "Greatest of All Time"


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 had a wonderful Fourth of July, whether you celebrated the holiday at Riverfest or just spent quality time with loved ones!

Right before the holiday, Governor Evers signed the state budget into law after using his partial veto authority to increase investments in education, transportation, and tax cuts for the middle class. This is a major first step in prioritizing the policies that matter to Wisconsinites. You can read more about the budget vetoes below.

Also, right before the budget passed, I hired a new staffer in my office, Zuki Chaney. She is a graduate of Carleton College and has lived in La Crosse. Below is a photo of her rubbing the nose of the badger outside the Governor’s office for good luck on her first day. I’m excited to have her on my staff to help me serve the people of the 95th.

Please continue reading for articles on the Tourism Committee’s informational hearing, and the Plastic Free July challenge. 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.


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Best Wishes, 

Jill Billings
State Representative 
95th Assembly District

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Governor Evers signs budget into law

As I’ve previously shared, the final budget that Governor Evers received last week fell short of his original proposal of the “People’s Budget”, which reflected the priorities of Wisconsinites based on public input. By signing the budget and using his partial veto authority, Governor Evers minimized the negative impact of delaying funding for important areas like schools and highway projects, while simultaneously moving Republicans to increase investments in areas that have been neglected in the past eight years.

Despite these setbacks, the governor was able to use his partial veto authority to include an additional $100 million for our public school classrooms. I am happy to see that we will be able to make much needed investments in our students, resulting in better economic outcomes for Wisconsin in the future.

While the Republicans refused to include Medicaid expansion, despite the support of the majority of Wisconsinites, both the Governor and legislative Democrats will continue to push for Medicaid expansion through other channels. Medicaid expansion would have saved our taxpayers nearly $325 million out of our general fund, and drawn down an additional $1.6 billion in additional federal funds. The expansion is what’s fiscally sound for Wisconsin and will serve La Crosse well, and I will continue to advocate for this change.

I encourage you to read more about the partial vetoes made to the budget, as well Governor Evers’ address on his changes, by clicking here.


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Tourism's great return on investment

I recently attended an informational hearing held by the Assembly Committee on Tourism. Secretary-Designee Sarah Meaney and her colleagues from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism presented their Annual Report for 2018, and shared the key highlights of their past and future marketing campaigns.

The department runs three seasonal marketing campaigns per year, and is able to track the increase in visitors from out of state due to their efforts. I was impressed by the creative concepts they presented, from a snowball delivery program, to a fall color report tracking the changing leaves throughout the state, to the promotion of the Frank Lloyd Wright trail.

Tourism is the third largest industry in Wisconsin, and has an economic impact of $21.6 billion. One in thirteen jobs is related to tourism, and the money that visitors to our state spend offsets $680 annually per household. Not only is tourism a huge economic driver in our state, but it also has a 7:1 return on investment!

The Department of Tourism has made it a priority to engage visitors and ensure they have a positive travel experience, which is an investment in our state’s future. When people visit our state and develop a positive impression, they are significantly more likely to consider taking a job, buying a house, or attending school in Wisconsin. I’ve previously expressed concern about the retention of talent in Wisconsin. Ideally, the students that come from out of state to UW-La Crosse stay in Wisconsin post-graduation and join our workforce, but that is not always what happens. The Department of Tourism’s work is actively changing that pattern.

Tourism is truly a non-partisan issue, and I am proud to serve as the ranking member on this committee to further the interests of our state. If you are interested in more details on how tourism shapes Wisconsin’s economy and the work of the Department of Tourism, I encourage you to watch footage of the informational hearing on WisEye. You can also visit their main website, travelwisconsin.com.


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Join the Plastic Free July challenge!

La Crosse has many beautiful waterways and wetlands, but they are increasingly vulnerable to the harmful effects of single-use plastics. This session, I am a co-author of a bill that returns the regulatory power over auxiliary containers (like single-use plastics and other common pollutants) back to municipalities. This would allow communities like La Crosse to implement policies based on our unique needs.

Responsible environmental stewardship is a priority of mine, so I was thrilled when I learned about Plastic Free July from the Coulee Region Sierra Club. Plastic Free July challenges participants to refuse single-use plastic for the entire month. Millions of people across the world have participated, and I encourage you to do the same! This small change can really add up and make a difference to our community.

It’s not too late to participate! Sign up for the challenge at plasticfreejuly.org. The website also contains helpful ideas on great alternatives to single-use plastics and other resources. I know that some items needed to meet the challenge can be found locally at Full Circle Supply or The People’s Food Co-op.



Rep. Billings in La Crosse


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 I had the pleasure of attending an award presentation where Focus on Energy presented the City of La Crosse with an Energy Efficiency Excellence Award. La Crosse was recognized for efforts to promote energy efficiency, particularly through the Mayor's Home Energy Challenge.


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I also attended the "Love Our Transit" open house at the Grand River Station Transit Center to learn more about our local public transit and to celebrate La Crosse Public Transit Week.