January 30, 2020
Greetings to you all,
This week was filled with meeting lots of different constituents as they traveled to the capitol! Meeting with people from the Cedar Valley is one of my favorite parts of this job!
On Monday, I got the chance to visit with Damien King, Debbie Fitkin, and Rachel Clark about Achieving Maximum Potential, a youth-driven group that encourages personal growth in Iowa’s adoptive and foster-care children to create the next generation of child welfare educators. They lobbied for transition training for children aging out of the foster care system and tax incentives for employers who hire foster youth.
I was able to meet with Cedar Falls Community School District Administration members on Tuesday. It was great to see Cedar Falls Superintendent, Andy Pattee, Cedar Falls School Board President, Jeff Hassman, Cedar Falls School Board Vice President, Sasha Wohlpart, Cedar Falls School Board Member Nate Gruber, Southdale Elementary Principal, Jacob Strub, and Aldritch Elementary Principal, Kim Cross. They were attending the Iowa Association of School Boards Day on the Hill lobbying for funding to provide access to the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program and improving the funding formula for schools to address inequity in funding.
Tim Dwight, Board President of the Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association and former University of Iowa football player, met with me on Wednesday to present ISETA’s Legislative Priorities this year. I’m excited to work with him to continue to make Iowa a leader in clean, renewable energy.
UNI students, Sam Wilkinson, Sydney Wagner, Isaak Espersen, and Alyssa Noe visited on Wednesday to ask for continued funding for a Suicide Prevention Educator on campus and for state legislation providing medical amnesty for students on our state university campuses.
Also, on Wednesday, I chatted with Kelly Richards, Mary Jo Kavalier, and Dr. Shawn Buhrow. They were attending the Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders Day on the Hill. We got the chance to chat about the need to expand tele health in the state of Iowa to bring better quality and more accessible health care, especially mental health care, to rural Iowa.
Finally, on Wednesday, Bob Greenwood, Robert Nichols, Wes Pilkington, and Brianna Hostart came to chat with me. All four of them are pharmacists in the Cedar Valley. They presented information about how pharmacists can help lower drug costs, increase healthcare access across the state, and prevent the abuse and misuse of opioids.
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!
1/30-2/2 Wait Until Dark, Hope Martin Theatre, Thu-Sat 7pm; Sun 2pm, 291-4494
31 UNI Women’s Basketball vs Loyola, McLeod Center, 6:30pm, 273-4849
2/1 Ice Harvest Festival, Big Woods Lake, 10am, 266-5149
2/1 ensemble 4.1, *GBPAC, 7pm, 273- 7469
2/2 UNI Women’s Basketball vs Valparaiso, McLeod Center, 2pm, 273-4849
2/4 Guest Author: David Connon, Hearst Center, 7pm, 273-8641
2/7 Cedar Valley TTBB Invitational, *GPAC, 273-2024
2/7 UNI – SB (Doc Halverson Classic) vs South Dakota, UNI-Dome, 2:45pm, 273-4849
2/7 UNI – SB (Doc Halverson Classic) vs Murray State, UNI-Dome, 5pm, 273-4849
2/7 UNI Women’s Basketball vs Missouri State, McLeod Center, 6:30pm, 273-4849
2/7-8 Black Hawks Hockey vs Fargo, Young Arena, 7:05pm, 291-7680
2/8 UNI – SB (Doc Halverson Classic) vs Murray State, UNI-Dome, 12:30pm, 273-4849
2/8 2020 Iowa Games Fat Bike Race, George Wyth State Park, 1pm, 266-5979
2/8 Downtown Delights, Cedar Falls Downtown District, 1pm, 277-0213
Making Child Care Accessible & Affordable for Iowa Families
Iowa faces a child care crisis in both urban and rural areas. While it directly impacts families with small kids, it’s also a drag on Iowa’s economy and a huge barrier in recruiting and building a skilled workforce. House Democrats are proposing four ideas to reduce the cost of child care and make it more accessible here in Iowa.
As Iowa’s average cost of child care continues to rise, legislators plan to expand the Child Care and Dependent Care Tax Credit. It will provide twice as much relief to working families that make less than $45,000 and expand the tax credit to more Iowa families.
According to the Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral, Iowa has lost 40% of its child care providers since 2012. A new Child Care Center and Child Development Home Grant Fund would provide startup or expansion assistance to daycare providers to offset the costs of establishing a new licensed child care center.
In the last five years, the cost of licensed child care facilities has risen 28% and in-home care costs rose by 14%. The proposal would expand the Child Care Assistance Program to include another 7,300 children by raising eligibility to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
Finally, there are 412 cities in Iowa that have no known childcare options. The plan offered by lawmakers this year encourages more small businesses to provide child care benefits to their employees through tax credits.
If you want more information about our proposal visit, https://iowahouse.org/childcare.
Bill to Decrease the Cost of Insulin Passes Committee
Legislation designed to cap prescription insulin costs at $100 has passed the House Human Resources Committee unanimously this week. Currently, insulin prices for those who are insured vary, but some brands have reached up to $300 or more for one vial (or enough for one month). The cost of insulin has continually increased over the last decade. The list prices of common insulin types have almost tripled from 10 years ago. For one patient that spoke at the subcommittee meeting, they paid $20 out-of-pocket in 1997 per vial, and now they have to pay $294 for the exact same medication.
Though this bill is a good start, more work needs to be done to make sure people can afford this life-sustaining medication. House File 2138 only caps prescription costs for those people with insurance. That means that many people will still need to decide if they pay for their insulin, or put food on the table for their families. Not taking insulin or insulin-rationing is a life-or-death situation that can be avoided by keeping the cost low for everyone.
The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.
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Public Input Wanted on Hunting Seasons
Reports on K-12 Schools and Community Colleges Available
Utilities Board Approves Alliant Energy Electric Rate Increase
Water Quality Monitoring Grants Available