February 28, 2020
Greetings to you all,
Week seven brought debate to the floor of the Iowa House of Representatives. With the first funnel finished, it was time to debate bills and to decide if the bill is good for the people of Iowa.
Between debate, I had the pleasure of meeting with members of UNI’s student government and members of the Active Minds chapter at UNI to discuss funding suicide prevention work at their university. The additional funding would help continue training students and staff in suicide prevention methods as well as the development of educational materials for the campus.
Rep. Kressig, Rep. Brown-Powers and Rep. Williams meet with members of UNI student government and UNI’s Active Minds chapter.
I also spoke with students from Cedar Falls High School who traveled to the capitol on Thursday afternoon as part of the Iowa School Counselor Association and Iowa Admissions Counseling Association prep sessions. They advocated for increased funding for public education and mental health initiatives in schools.
Rep. Kressig, Rep. Brown-Powers and Rep. Williams discuss school funding and mental health with students from Cedar Falls High School.
Students from Cedar Falls High School and Peet Junior High visit the Iowa House of Representatives on Feb. 27.
A number of bills passed through committee with strong bi-partisan support. One I have been proud to support is HF 2375 which expands our current hands-free driving law. This expansion is critical to save lives all across Iowa and make our roads safer. Bills were also passed that make childcare more affordable for all Iowans. This is a critical step to expanding Iowa’s workforce.
According to the Iowa Dept. of Public Health, the risk is low that citizens in Iowa could contract the Coronavirus. Advice for decreasing the risk of exposure is very similar to that the common cold. Try to stay three feet or more away from someone coughing or sneezing and regularly wash your hands. Practice good respiratory etiquette by coughing or sneezing into the crook of your arm. If you are not feeling well, stay home and seek advice from a medical professional.
As your Representative, I hope to reflect your interests and concerns in my work at the Capitol, so please reach out at any time. The Iowa Legislature’s webpage, www.legis.iowa.gov, 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 listen to or watch our debates live.
Please check out other information and pictures from the current session on my website www.bobkressig.com. In addition to listening posts, forums, and Black Hawk County Representatives’ weekly video update, you can also reach me by email or call me at home at 319-266-9021. We can also stay connected through social media, including Facebook, Twitter 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!
28-29 Frog Prince of Spamalot, Hope Martin Theatre, Fri 7pm; Sat 2pm, 291-4494
3/1 From the Heart: Piano Expressions by Jean & Kelly, Hearst Center, 1:30pm, 273-8641
3/3 Northern Iowa Band Invitational, *GBPAC, 273-2024
3/3-5 Hawkeye Farm Show, UNI-Dome, 9am-4pm, 800-873-1411
3/5 Gallery Talk with Artists Phillip Chen and Randy Hemminghaus, Hearst Center, 6pm, 273-8641
3/5 JigJam: From Tullamore, Hawkeye Community College, Tama Hall, 7pm, 296-4464
3/5 Spotlight Series Concert: Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra, *GBPAC, 7:30pm, 273-2024
3/5-7 Burnt City: A One-Persian Show about U.S.-Iran relations, UNI Interpreters Theatre, 7pm, 273-2311
|News from the Statehouse|
Boosting Iowa’s Skilled Workforce & Creating Good Paying Jobs
While Iowa has low unemployment, too many Iowans aren’t making enough to keep up with the rising costs of health care, food, and housing. Iowa also faces a significant skilled worker shortage that threatens the future growth of our economy. By 2025, 68% of jobs in Iowa will require some training or education beyond high school but currently only 58% of our workforce has those skills.
Since small businesses represent 99% of all employers, lawmakers are working this year to target more state job creation incentives to help small businesses expand. Other ideas being considered this year include encouraging more students to work in high demand jobs and supporting more parents who adopt children.
The three bills introduced this week to create good jobs and a skilled workforce include:
Expand Family Leave to Adoptive Parents – Give parents who are adopting the same access to family leave that other parents get
Forgivable Loans for High Demand Jobs – Iowans in high demand jobs would receive up to $12,000 in student loan forgiveness over two years
Loans for Small Businesses – In an effort to target more state job creating incentives to small business, Iowa small businesses with no more than 15 employees can receive a new low interest loan up to $50,000
To find out more about these bills go to https://iowahouse.org/jobs.
First Legislative Deadline Passes
Last week the legislature hit the first deadline, known as the “funnel”, which helps narrow down the number of bills eligible for debate as we approach adjournment in April. This week, the Legislature spent more time on the House Floor sending bills over to the Senate as the next deadline looms in just a few weeks.
House Democrats are working on a number of bills this year that will improve the lives of everyday Iowans. That means putting politics aside and working together on good-paying jobs, affordable and accessible health care, great schools, and revitalizing small towns and rural communities.
Here just a few highlights of other bi-partisan bills that lawmakers are working on this session:
• Expanding hands free driving law to save lives (HF 2375/SF 2248)
• Lifetime commercial driver’s license ban for individuals convicted of human trafficking (HF 2235/SF 2089)
• Holding pharmacy benefit managers accountable (HSB 685)
• Ending “cliff” effect for child care assistance program (HF 2424)
• Capping insulin costs for Iowans at $100 per month (HF 2138)
• Expanding access to tele-health care in rural areas (HF 2192)
• Increasing Child Care Assistance rates (HF 2270)
• Removing fees for veterans trying to claim benefits (HF 2236)
• Raising minimum age for tobacco and vaping (SF 2268)
• Protecting veterinarians who report animal abuse (HF 2374)
• Extending renewable energy tax credits (HF 2279/SF 628)
• Expanding firefighter/EMT/reserve police officer volunteer tax credit (HF 2280)
• Restoring felon voting rights and improving security of elections (HSB 545)
The next legislative deadline is on March 20th. The 2020 Legislative Session is scheduled to adjourn on April 21.
|Read More News from the Statehouse|
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