March 5, 2018
Hope you all had a great week and weekend! We have been busy debating again, receiving bills from the Senate, talking budgets and taxes. It’s always a whirlwind of activity and I enjoy every minute. Speaking of wind…have we had enough?!
The House had several very large bills that I will try to explain, but first did you see the news that U.S. News and World Report named IOWA the Best State in America? The rankings include all 50 states and used 77 metrics and thousands of data points to come to a conclusion we already knew. We are #1!
Their report said we are ranked #1 in Infrastructure, #3 in Health Care, #4 in Opportunity, #5 in Education and #9 in Quality of Life. We are all a part of these rankings and it goes to show each of you doing your part, makes us the best.
We have received many awards in the last six months which highlight our strong fiscal management, education and affordability for families. We been named #1 state for middle class families, #1 for high school graduation rates, #3 best managed state, #4 in K – 12 funding increases and #4 for retirees. This is our good news story and we are all making it happen. Thank you.
One bill that is of particular interest is HF2468 which increases penalties for mistreatment and neglect of and provides for rescue of animals by local law enforcement. The bill enhances penalties for animal abuse, animal neglect and animal torture. If you are interested in reading that bill, you can find it at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=87&ba=hf2468. I’m hoping it moves forward.
Okay, this week we passed out of the House two good data privacy bills, HF2354 and HF2423, to keep your and your child’s personal data safer. We passed out HF2367 which sets up a Veteran’s fund that will accept donations and bequests to be administered by Veteran’s Affairs for hyperbaric oxygen treatment to veterans with traumatic brain injuries and PTSD. Plus two additional water quality bills, HF2407 and HF2440, which address pesticides in lakes and water quality programs.
We passed out an insurance bill requiring payment for certain telehealth services and a Utilities Board bill that deregulated rural and municipal telecoms. A mental health bill that is much needed went over to the Senate, HF2456. This bill builds on Iowa’s community based mental health system and reduces the fragmentation of services. I receive many concerns about our mental health services and this comprehensive piece of legislation should help.
There were many more, but these are the highlights. If you have any questions or concerns, you can email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call to 515-281-3221.