Bob Kressig Newsletter July 15, 2022

Bob Kressig Newsletter
Greetings to you all,
Hopefully, everyone is enjoying the summer weather. I have seen several people out enjoying the trails and the outdoors this month. Some good news to share is that the Cedar Valley Lakes Trail is open in George Wyth. The washed out section of the trail has been paved and the shoulders seeded.  The trail is officially open until the next phase this fall when they begin re-construction of the existing asphalt section abutting the newly paved section. For up to date information on the next phase, visit Cedar Valley Trails Partnership.

In the Statehouse Newsletter, you will find information about:

  • Hotline available to help Iowans with Mental Health.
  • President signs order protecting reproductive rights.
  • Hundreds of Iowans turned away from the recent primary elections.
  • Mortgage assistance available to Iowans
  • Warmer weather brings Iowans utility woes.

Please share your comments with me.
Going forward, I will be listening and working closely with local leaders and community members, to make sure the state is partnering with those in our community who need help and assistance. I’m available by email, phone, and social media, to answer questions and listen to your concerns. You can always 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!
Upcoming Community Events

Jul 14 Party on the Patio with TnT
Hearst Center for the Arts, 5pm, 319-273-8641
Jul 14 Waterloo Bucks vs Rochester Honkers
Riverfront Stadium, 6:30pm, 319-232-0500
Jul 15-17 & 21-24 Footloose
Waterloo Community Playhouse, Fri & Sat 7pm, Sun 2pm
Jul 15 Live to 9: Mike & The Mashers
River Place Plaza, 6pm, 319-260-4020
Jul 15 RiverLoop Rhythms: Reilly
RiverLoop Amphitheatre, 5:30pm, 319-291-4490 
Jul 16 Jazz at The Black Hawk: Bob Dunn & Paul Rider
Bar Winslow, 7:30pm, 319-277-1161
Jul 16-17 Waterloo Bucks vs Eau Claire Express
Riverfront Stadium, Sat 6:30pm & Sun 2:30pm, 319-232-0500
Jul 15 GBPAC Block Party Series: Landmark Commons with Milk & Honey
Landmark Commons, 7pm, 319-273-7469
Jul 17 Cedar Valley Chamber Music: Finding America’s Sound
Van G. Miller Adult Learning Center, 2pm
Jul 17 GBPAC Block Party Series: Grand Blvd with STACKHOUSE
Lookout Park, 2pm, 319-273-7469
Jul 19 Cedar Falls Municipal Band
Overman Park, 7:30pm, 319-266-1253
Jul 20 Cedar Valley Chamber Music: Born in the U.S.A.
The Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, 7pm
Jul 21 Party on the Patio with Ace Jones
Hearst Center for the Arts, 5pm, 319-273-8641
Jul 21 Plaza Presents: Bob Dorr & Friends
River Place Plaza, 5pm, 319-260-4020
Jul 21-22 Waterloo Bucks vs Duluth Huskies
Riverfront Stadium, Thu & Fri 6:30pm, 319-232-0500
Jul 22 Live to 9: Throwback Jack
River Place Plaza, 6pm, 319-260-4020
Jul 24 Cedar Valley Chamber Music: American Woman
UNI Gallery of Art, 2pm


Statehouse News 

New Lifeline to Help Iowans with Mental Health

Many Iowans are still experiencing mental health issues from the pandemic, including stress, isolation, and uncertainty. In response, a new hotline has been created to provide help.
Beginning on July 16, Iowans can dial 9-8-8 from any phone and it will be answered by a crisis counselor who can connect people with services and provide initial support to those in crisis.  There are two centers in Iowa that will be taking these calls. The current hotline and online chat system, Your Life Iowa, will still be in use and is a free and confidential resource for Iowans.

With the uptick in mental health services needed due to the pandemic, Iowa is experiencing a significant shortage of mental health professionals. Iowa is ranked 45th in the nation for the number of psychiatrists per capita. Several initiatives were put in place this year by the Iowa Legislature that could address much needed access to mental health care services, including increased care coverage under the Medicaid program and added incentives to bring more mental health professionals to the state of Iowa.

Please visit for free confidential online help or call 9-8-8 to speak with a crisis counselor.

President Signs Executive Order Protecting Reproductive Rights

Two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, President Joe Biden has signed a new executive order to protect access to abortion nationwide. The move comes as several states led by Republican lawmakers, including in Iowa, work to outlaw or severely restrict abortion access.
The order includes instructions to the Justice Department to make sure women can travel out-of-state for abortion care; protects mobile clinics that have been deployed to state borders to offer care for out-of-state patients; and encourages robust legal representation of patients, providers, and third parties lawfully seeking or offering reproductive health care services throughout the country.
President Biden has also said he’ll provide leave for federal workers traveling for medical care, which could set an example for private companies to do the same.

In Iowa, abortion is still legal up to 20-weeks of pregnancy. However, Governor Reynolds has requested the Iowa Polk County District Court review a previous ruling that struck down a ban on abortion after six weeks in Iowa. The ban would not allow an abortion after six weeks, before most even know they are pregnant.

Even if the Iowa District Court reconsiders their abortion ruling, it’s certain to end up back in the Iowa Legislature. Any new law would require Republican Governor Kim Reynolds to call for a special legislative session, or wait until the next legislative session in January 2023.

Earlier this month, the Iowa Supreme Court overturned a previous decision that stated abortion was a fundamental right in the Iowa Constitution. It also reinstated the 24-hr waiting period, meaning that an individual who needs an abortion will be required to have two appointments. Waiting periods serve no medical purpose other than to create more hurdles to make healthcare less accessible.

While the Governor and Republican lawmakers may ban abortion in Iowa, a strong majority of Iowans support reproductive freedom and abortion rights. A poll taken in 2021 found that 57 percent of Iowans said abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Hundreds of Iowans Turned Away at Primary Election

Iowans have seen the voting laws change numerous times over the past years. Republican lawmakers have shortened the number of early voting days, closed the polls earlier, and put more hurdles in the way of voting by mail. All of these were done under the guise of protecting the “integrity” of the state’s election process.

Throughout all the changes Republican lawmakers promised that the changes would not prevent a single Iowan from voting, but recent data shows that hundreds of voters did not have their votes counted in the most recent Primary Election.

According to Bleeding Heartland at least 589 people in some of the largest counties in Iowa missed a deadline to request an absentee ballot after Republicans shortened the timeline in 2021. This is on top of the 149 Iowans whose votes were thrown out after reaching the auditor’s office too late, again after Republicans shortened the time to return a ballot.

Warmer Weather Brings Utility Woes

At the beginning of the summer, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an assessment detailing energy markets’ summer outlook. The report highlighted that the U.S. will have sufficient capacity to maintain reliable operations this summer under normal conditions. However, extreme weather events could pose challenges to parts of the Midwest. Conditions such as major heat waves, wildfires, hurricanes, and other severe weather events may stress current power grid operations.
Iowa’s main regional grid operator, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), issued a warning for potential capacity shortfalls and is urging consumers to conserve energy during heatwaves.
In extreme cases, limited, controlled power outages (rolling blackouts) may be implemented and could affect millions of Iowans. Controlled power outages are often necessary during an emergency to prevent long-term damage to the state’s energy infrastructure. While this is unlikely, all Iowa utilities are urging Iowans to be prepared.
If an energy shortfall occurs, communities may need to cut energy demand to sustain reliability. This typically happens during peak demand times in the afternoon and early evenings. Simple solutions can help during a conservation alert, including:

  • Turning off air conditioners or maintaining temperature at/above 78 degrees.
  • Avoid using large appliances like the washer, dryer, and dishwasher.

Planned outages only occur in extreme circumstances and cycle throughout the community in short, one-hour increments. Power is maintained at hospitals and key public safety facilities. Iowans who have critical medical or communications equipment should be prepared with a battery backup or alternative location.
Iowans are encouraged to contact their utility customer service team for questions or additional information.

More Iowa News

MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE TO IOWANS: Homeowners who are behind on their mortgage may be eligible for assistance through the Homeowner Assistance Fund.  Eligible applicants can receive up to $25,000 in mortgage payments, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, HOA fees, and manufactured home/lot rent payments. To qualify homeowners must be more than 30 days behind on payments and household income cannot exceed 150 percent of the area median income or 100 percent of the U.S. median income. Homeowners must show a COVID related financial hardship. More information about the program and the application can be found online, or homeowners can call 888-668-0927 for assistance.

IOWA SUPREME COURT PROVIDES GRANTS FOR LOW-INCOME LEGAL WORK: The Iowa Supreme Court approved almost $250,000 of grants to provide legal services for low income Iowans around the state. The grants will mostly go to fund civil legal work, like divorces and removal of children cases, rather than criminal cases. The grants were distributed to 11 organizations around the state that provide legal services to low-income or underserved communities. The grants are funded by the Interest on Lawyer’s Trust Account program, called IOLTA. Lawyers in the state are required to put certain client funds in these interest-bearing accounts. The interest generated by the accounts is managed by a seven-member commission that awards these grants from the funds. Since the program was started in 1985 more than $25 million in IOLTA grants have been awarded. For additional information on these grants see:

CALL 8-1-1 BEFORE YOU DO ANY DIGGING: Before Iowans start digging, they should call 811 to locate underground utilities. There is now an online option available at to view the mapping system, it’s very detailed and allows the user to pinpoint where there are utility wires. The utility location service is free, but it can cost in damage and fines if a utility is hit.

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