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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Facing Budget Challenges Head On

Three times a year, the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) meets to discuss the state’s economic outlook and set their general fund revenue projections.  The REC is a three-person, nonpartisan committee established to provide consensus on available revenue which serves as the foundation for the legislature’s budget process.

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Protecting Iowa's Election Integrity

House Republicans are committed to maintaining Iowa’s status as one of the top states in the nation for election integrity. This week, we passed the Election Integrity and Modernization Act (HF 516) to increase voter confidence and bring our voting process into the 21st Century. This bill makes it easy to vote, hard to commit fraud, and ensures no eligible voter is turned away.

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School Funding Flexibility

This week, committee members worked tirelessly to pass priority legislation ahead of the first legislative funnel deadline. Legislative funnels were first enacted in the Iowa Legislature in 1979 as a bipartisan solution to keep session running on schedule, encourage members to work together on important issues, and help narrow the focus on which bills move through the entire legislative process.

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Committees Hard At Work

As we wrap up the seventh week of session, I am excited about everything we have been able to accomplish so far. House Republicans set out to tackle tough issues and put forth bold, smart legislation to reduce the size of government and maintain a balanced budget that funds the priority needs of Iowans.

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