Fiscal Year 2018 Underway

August is here and before you know it, school will be starting again. I hope you are able to get out and enjoy the last few weeks of summer vacation, warm weather, and, of course, the Iowa State Fair.

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Improving the Health of Iowans

Greetings! I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating Independence Day. I enjoyed seeing so many of you out at the West Des Moines and Windsor Heights parades. While the beginning of July is marked with parades, barbeques, fireworks, and many other festivities, it is also the day the majority of the legislation passed during the 2017 session goes into effect. Several of these new laws are personally important to me and will help protect and improve the health and well-being of many Iowans.  

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Protecting Iowans from Drug Addiction

America’s opioid epidemic continues to worsen, and is spreading rapidly across the country. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50, the majority of which come from heroin and other opioids.

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Moving Iowa’s Economy Forward

One of my primary focuses every year in the legislature is supporting legislation that will grow Iowa’s economy, give Iowans more opportunities to become entrepreneurs, create jobs, and share in the benefits from the new products and services. Far too often, government regulation is a roadblock to new and exciting initiatives. While regulation is sometimes necessary, it is also important to review antiquated laws and set up the legal framework for new technologies.

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Protecting Iowa Drivers and Passengers

Summer is just around the corner, school will soon be out, and summer activities will be in full-swing. With the change in seasons, many of us will begin travel and vacations. I have appreciated the honor of serving another session in the legislature, yet I am also excited for more time with my family and the many adventures we have planned. 

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2017 End of Session Remarks

As the sun came up on Saturday morning, April 22nd, we concluded our work for the 2017 legislative session. During the final days, we set the state budget for Fiscal Year 2018 and considered remaining policy items such as water quality and access to medical cannabidiol for many sick and suffering Iowans.

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Meet Katie

In this week’s newsletter, I would like to introduce our office page this session, Miss Katie Simpson from Spencer, Iowa. We selected Katie to serve as a leadership page this session for many reasons including her attention to detail and bright personality, and she proved to be an invaluable asset to our office. This young woman has a very bright future ahead of her, and will accomplish many things inside and outside the world of politics. I asked her to write a short summary of her time at the State Capitol:

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Supporting Families Facing Autism

Parents who have children with autism face a host of unique challenges including costly treatment and therapy. For several years, the legislature has worked to extend insurance coverage for these services so caregivers can better access the quality care that their children need to succeed.

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Protecting Iowans and Their Rights

Governor Branstad released his revised Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget proposal on Tuesday to reflect the Revenue Estimating Conference’s (REC) adjusted revenue projections. His plan uses $131.1 million from the Cash Reserve Fund to cover the FY 2017 revenue shortfall which he plans to repay by using the FY 2018 ending balance and appropriating $26.3 million in FY 2019.

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Smart Sentencing Reform

As we approach the second legislative funnel and enter the final weeks of session, the House continues work on priority legislation and the budget. This week, we passed a number of bills including HF 548 which improves stroke care by establishing a centralized database for stroke reporting. We also passed HF 571 to protect Iowans’ privacy by making 911 calls involving a minor or sensitive medical information, confidential. Another important bill I want to touch on is HF 579 which makes smart, cost-saving reforms to our criminal justice system by removing mandatory minimums for several non-violent offenses.

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