September 26, 2019

Greeting to you all,

I attended the Legislative Fiscal Committee meeting last week that took place at the Van Miller Adult Learning Center in Waterloo. One of the major issues discussed was for families that are trying to gain access to childcare in Iowa. Access to childcare and the significant costs families are facing and how that is preventing them from joining the workforce. There are 529,076 children ages 0-12 in the state of Iowa but only 167,399 child care spaces available, leaving a shortfall of 361,677 spaces.

Three-quarters of Iowa families with children under the age of six have all available parents working outside of the home, yet almost a quarter of Iowans live in an area undersupplied with licensed or registered child care options. The results paint a clear picture of how workforce development is hindered by a lack of child care of these families, 65% of parents are late to work or leave early because of child care issues. Employees also miss an average of nearly two weeks of work per year due to the same problems.

To address the childcare problems communities need to create partnerships that explore innovative ways to exchange ideas among business and community leaders, employees and organizations to promote child care investments that support children’s healthy development and a competitive business environment—both for the short and long term. The state can also play a role in supporting quality childcare for families in Iowa.

Tuesday, September 24 is National Voter Registration Day and Americans of all political persuasions are working together to encourage more participation in our democracy. While Iowa has a relatively high number of registered voters compared to the rest of the country, there are still approximately 260,000 Iowans who are eligible to vote that are not.  Nationally, there are 51 million Americans who are eligible but not registered to vote. (2012 Pew Study)

Iowans can register to vote through the Iowa Dept. of Transportation when applying for or renewing a driver’s license.  To register to vote online, Iowans can go to  Iowans can also register to vote in person at their local county auditor’s office. For more information on voter registration requirements, log on to or call 888-767-8683.

Experts from Iowa released the Iowa Climate Statement 2019 this month and warned that time is running out to prevent extreme heat in Iowa.  The scientists are estimating that the number of days above 90 degrees will increase from 23 to 67 by the year 2050. After record flooding last spring, the Iowa Flood Mitigation Board approved $15 million to buyout homes, repair damage, and rebuild levees.

I recently attended the University of Northern Iowa’s Annual Town Hall for Community Engagement. Great conversations on how we can improve community engagement in the Cedar Valley. Thank you for all the work you do.

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

24 Intrusion Hawkeye Community College – Tama Hall, 12pm, 296-2320
27 Coming Attractions! – the 38th Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert *GBPAC, 7:30pm, 273-2024
27-28 Waverly’s Oktoberfest Kohlmann Park, Waverly, 5pm, 352-4252
27-29 Korczak’s Children McElroy Theatre, Fri 7pm; Sat & Sun; 2pm, 235-0367
28 Bands of America Iowa Regional Championship UNI-Dome, 9:30am, 800- 848-2263
28 Pear Fair Municipal Lot G College Hill, 11am, 266-6077
28 College Hill Oktoberfest Municipal Lot G College Hill, 5:30pm, 273-6228
30 Vision to Vitality Community Forum Hawkeye Community College, 5pm, 515- 246-1700
10/3 Girls’ Night Out – Dig Out Your Pink Cedar Falls Downtown District, 5pm, 277-0213
10/3 Tour De’Loo Downtown Waterloo, 5:30pm, 291-2038
10/4 Spotlight Series Concert: Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Band UNI Campus, Russell Hall, 7:30pm, 273-2024
10/4-5 Korczak’s Children McElroy Theatre, Fri 7pm; Sat 2pm, 235-0367
10/4-6 Amadeus Oster Regent Theatre, Fri & Sat 7:30pm; Sun 2pm, 277-5283
10/5 13th Annual Pink Ribbon Run Cedar Falls Community Center, 8:15am, 292-2225
10/5 UNI Football vs. Youngstown State UNIDome, 4pm, 273-4849
10/8 Sip & Savor in Naked Spaces Cedar Falls Downtown District, 5pm, 277-0213
10/8 Maximilian Hornung *GBPAC, 7pm, 273- 7469
10/10 Amadeus Oster Regent Theatre, 7:30pm, 277-5283
10/11 Lunchtime Concert Hearst Center, noon, 273-8641

News from the Statehouse

Great Iowa Treasure Hunt; Do You Have Unclaimed Money?

Every year, there are millions of dollars turned into the State Treasurer’s office as lost or abandoned property.  This property comes in the form of safe deposit box items, dormant financial accounts, unclaimed utility refunds, uncashed checks, and stock certificates and dividends.

The State Treasurer’s office becomes the holder of these assets until the missing owner can be found.  Owners are located through mailings, publications, and listings that are displayed at the Iowa State Fair.  There is no time limit to file a claim, and there is no fee assessed once the property or money has been returned the owner.

To date, the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt program has returned over $267 million in unclaimed property to more than 592,000 people since Treasurer Fitzgerald created it in 1983.

To see if you have unclaimed property or money visit:

Demand Remains High for New Blackout License Plates

With nearly 20,000 plates sold since first becoming available July 1, the demand for Iowa’s new blackout license plates still remains high. The black and white plates, approved during the 2019 Legislative Session, sold quickly with most counties running out or running low in the initial month after their release.

Iowans are able to exchange any plates for non-personalized blackout license plates at local county treasurer’s offices, which saves the two- to three-week order processing time if the plates are ordered online or by mail. The new blackout license plates will not have the same letter/number combination as your current plates.

If you currently have a personalized plate and would like to switch your personalized message from that plate to the new blackout plate design, you will need to complete the mail in form found at

The blackout plates are considered a specialty plate, so they are subject to an additional fee. The new plate will cost $35 for a non-personalized, alpha-numeric plate and an additional $25 (for a total of $60) for a personalized plate.  An additional fee of $10 for non-personalized and $15 for personalized plates will be added to renewal registration fees.

Funds collected for the blackout plate will go to the Road Use Tax Fund, which funds state, county, and city road and bridge projects throughout Iowa.

Read More News from the Statehouse

Iowa Moves Forward on School Bus Seat Belts
Grants Available to Expand Broadband Access
Flood Mitigation Board Approves New Assistance
Public Hearings Set on Use of Seclusion Rooms in Schools
Waterfowl Hunting Changes

By | 2020-10-15T16:37:59+00:00 September 26th, 2019|Newsletters|