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Lawmakers gather at UW-L for yearly Q & A with students and citizens



Five area legislators met with La Crosse university students and other voters during a forum at UW-L on Friday.

The three Democrats and two Republicans answered questions on a broad range of topics, from university pay to the plan to raise Wisconsin’s smoking age to 21.

Sen. Patrick Testin of Stevens Point believes that the smoking bill will be debated at a hearing during the first two weeks of March, and could be approved shortly afterward.

La Crosse Rep. Jill Billings says she’s always asking for more money for the UW system, to retain faculty members that will attract students to a campus.

Billings responded to a question from an audience member who’s concerned that instructors from UW-L are going to Minnesota schools such as Winona State to earn higher pay.

Speaking about the fall elections, Onalaska rep Steve Doyle said that he’s the only Assembly Democrat in the state who represents a Republican-leaning district.

Doyle says Republicans leading the legislature would like to defeat him and up to three other Democrats, to give the Assembly a “vero-proof majority” to block Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

La Crosse Sen. Jennifer Shilling and Vernon County Rep. Loren Oldenburg were the other legislators featured at the forum.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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