October REC Budget Projections

The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) met on October 19 to revise their forecast for the current budget year (FY 2018) and make a preliminary prediction for the next budget year (FY 2019). The three-person panel includes members from both the public and private sector, and their findings play a pivotal role in the legislature’s budgeting process.

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EpiPen Investigation Reaches Settlement

Last year, many Iowa families became increasingly concerned about the rapidly rising price of the life-saving EpiPen Auto-Injector. The average cost for an EpiPen prescription had risen 181 percent from $161.35 in FY2012 to $453.61 in FY2016, and the total cost to the state’s Medicaid program had more than tripled in that amount of time. Like many Iowans, I started looking for answers to the seemingly inexplicable price surge that was putting such a burden on taxpayers.

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Seeing Results

During the 2017 legislative session, House Republicans championed bold legislation to expand opportunity and bring new growth to the state. We have already started to see positive results from those initiatives including House File 518, which reformed our Workers’ Compensation system to provide employers and workers with more certainty.

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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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