Bob Kressig Newsletter August 16, 2019

Bob Kressig Newsletter

August 16, 2019

Greeting to you all,

The new school year is just a week away.  Iowa teachers are getting their classrooms set up for the new school year. Families are wrapping up summer activities and vacations.  Practices are starting up again for thousands of students. Many recent high school graduates are prepping to head to a college campus for the first time. Wishing the students success during the school year and thanking our teachers, para educators and school staff for their hard work and dedication.

The USDA notified the state of Iowa, in a letter sent to Gov. Kim Reynolds that Iowa made payment errors at a rate of 10.02 percent for the fiscal year 2018, which is “well above the national 2018 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payment error rate of 6.80 percent.” In 2018, Iowa had an overpayment rate of 8.91%. The underpayment rate was 1.11%. In that letter dated July 30, 2019, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue asked Governor Reynolds “to take a leadership position in improving Iowa’s payment accuracy”. A $1.8 million fine is being handed down against the State of Iowa. State of Iowa was aware last year that they were in violation of U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations revolving the SNAP program and did nothing about it. We need leadership that is willing to address this issue.

After the Governor’s veto of the expansion of medical cannabis in Iowa, there was another setback when the Medical Cannabis Board denied anxiety disorders including PTSD, as well as Opioid dependence as qualifying conditions. New information released this month found that Iowa taxpayers are footing the legal bills for over $11.7 million in FY19 for workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation by state employees.

There is an opportunity for students who are interested in being a legislative page during the 2020 session. If you know any High School Juniors or Seniors interested in the page program please share the link and have them apply. Pages will begin work on January 13, 2020, and work the entire legislative session, which should be finished around the end of April 2020. Application period is open until October 4th, 2019.…/6EAB05A4-621B-4817-8A3D-50247F… 

As always, the Iowa Legislature’s webpage,, has a great amount of information for you to read. In addition to reading bills and finding out what’s happening in the House or Senate on any given day, you can now listen to or watch our debates live, when we are in session. I currently serve on five committees for this session: Commerce, Local Government, Public Safety, Environmental Protection, and the Economic Development Budget Sub Committee.

Please check out all my other information and pictures from the current session on my website In addition to listening posts and forums, you can also reach me by email anytime or call me at home at 319-266-9021. We can also stay connected through social media, including FacebookTwitter and YouTube. I appreciate hearing from you and I thank you for your continued support.

Thank you for taking the time to read the Statehouse News. Please keep in touch and enjoy the weather!

Upcoming Community Events

16 RiverLoop Rhythms – Avey/Grouws Band RiverLoop Amphitheater, 5:30-9:30pm, 291- 4490
16-17 North End Arts & Music Festival 2019 Fri East HS, 7pm; Sat Ferguson Fields Park, noon, 234-2560
16-18 55th Annual Old Time Power Show Antique Acres, 987-2380
17 Fondo Cedar Valley Overman Park, 10am, 493-5371
17 Triumphant Quartet Riverview Conference Center, 6pm, 268-0787
17 Cinema on the Cedar: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse RiverLoop Amphitheater, 8pm, 291-2038
20 CF Booster – Fall Sports Kick-off Cedar Falls High School, 6pm, 553-2500
20 August Ensembles Overman Park, 7pm, 266- 1253
21 USAF Band Concert Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum, 9:30am, 234-6357
23 Movies Under the Moon – Footloose Overman Park, 6:30pm, 277-0213
23 Cinema on the Cedar: Kinky Boots RiverLoop Amphitheater, 9pm, 291-2038
23-24 Cedar Valley Pridefest Downtown Waterloo, Fri 5:30pm; Sat noon, 291-4490
24 Mayor’s Entre-Tourism Bike Ride Cedar Falls City Hall, 9am, 268-4266
24 Tour of Classic Homes 2019 various locations in Waterloo, 1pm, 234-6357
27 August Ensembles Overman Park, 7pm, 266- 1253
28 Rally for the Valley Diamond Event Center, 11am-1pm, 235-6211
29 Final Thursday Reading Series – Vince Gotera Hearst Center, Cedar Falls, 7pm, 273- 8641

News from the Statehouse

Students Head Back to School with New Legislative Changes

For K-12 students, classes can begin on August 23rd.  Since this falls on a Friday this year, many are starting the following week.

However, nearly all local school districts will face another year of belt tightening as Republican lawmakers approved just a minor increase in state funding this year.  For the 9th time in the last decade, the funding increase is below the cost of inflation which means many school districts will reduce course offerings, put off technology or book purchases, increase class sizes, and reduce their education workforce.

Districts with highest transportation costs will receive some new assistance this year, but it is not a long-term solution.  Since some rural districts have a small number of students but geographically cover hundreds of square miles, they spend a large amount of their budget on transportation costs instead of in the classroom.

Some other educational requirements passed the Legislature in previous years, but take effect this school year.  This includes trainings and protocols on suicide prevention training, concussion protocols with coaching training, and school emergency operation plans to address school safety.

New legislation raises the passenger limit on school vehicles that are vans, minivans, SUV’s, or station wagons from the current Iowa law of eight to the federal limit of 10.  Rules would allow pickups for up to 9 passengers and able to carry less than 2,000 lbs. to be used as school buses.  The operator of the pickup must meet school bus driver qualifications.  This was mainly done to help 4-H programs in hauling supplies.

High School Students Encouraged to Serve as Iowa Legislative Pages

The Iowa Legislature is looking for high school students to learn more about the legislative process by applying to serve as a Legislative Page in the Iowa House of Representatives for the 2020 legislative session.

Legislative Pages provide invaluable assistance to representatives and staff by running errands, delivering messages, and distributing bills and amendments.  Pages will work with staff and representatives in the Iowa State Capitol building.

The Iowa House Chief Clerk’s office will be accepting applications until Friday, October 4, 2019. Guidelines to the program include:

•    Must be 16 years of age by January 13, 2020
•    Uniforms are provided
•    Living arrangements are unsupervised and must be found on their own
•    Students are responsible for transportation to and from the State Capitol
•    This is a paid position and excused absences are permitted
•    Students are expected to be able to handle any school responsibilities
•    Parental permission is required to participate in this program

For more details on the page program and how to apply go to,

Read More News from the Statehouse

Resources Available for Consumer Restitution from Equifax Breach
Trump’s Trade Dispute Continues to Hurt Iowa Producers and Farmers
Suicide Rates Increasing in Iowa, Nationally
High-Demand Manufacturing Job Growth in Iowa
New Iowa Education Rules on School Buses, Seclusion Rooms Delayed