Sheets Snapshot – March 16, 2017
Things have been very productive here at the Capital. We’ve made both small and significant changes to the Code. Last week, we passed an omnibus 2nd Amendment Bill on gun regulation reform. This Bill should allow law-abiding Iowans the freedom to exercise their gun rights more freely. We also passed a voter integrity and modernization Bill that provides a Voter ID requirement in our election process. On top on that, we passed a preemption Bill. This preemption Bill relates to the state having authority over counties, cities, and townships on such topics as minimum wage, requirements on types of packaging in markets, and even daylight savings time in the extreme. These changes will help Iowa businesses provide uniform packaging across the state..
Last Wednesday, we passed HF565, and HF564. These two education Bills provide flexibility to school districts to use funds that were categorized for specific expenses and not able to be used for general purposes. HF565 creates a school flexibility fund. HF564 provides new allowable uses for specific funding received by school districts. Neither Bill, however, addresses the transportation costs inequities between urban and rural schools. This is a cause I am still working toward.
For two weeks I’ve been wrestling with a Workers’ Compensation Bill. It was crafted, we are told, as an attempt to reduce fraud in the system. It appeared to me as an attempt to get the insurance companies off the hook. There are 3 main objections to this Bill. First, it set a maximum age to receive benefits at age 67. Second, it treated the shoulder as a separate part, rather than part of the body as a whole. Third, it replaced the term “substantial” with “predominate,” a term making it much more difficult for a worker to receive benefits. I would not have voted for the original Bill. After considerable effort, a number of us were able to force an amendment to remove the first and third of these items from the Bill, and the second item was significantly improved for the employee, both financially and educationally. This was Amendment H-1211. It passed last Thursday, making it possible for me to vote for the Bill as amended. I believe that, as amended, it addresses the abuses of the system.
On a lighter note, after honors were awarded to entrepreneur Alisa Roth, I had the pleasure of honoring the Fogle family for its FOGLE TRUE VALUE & HARDWARE operation. I read House Resolution 13 on the floor “WHEREAS, Steve and Leona Fogle, owners of Fogle True Value of Centerville, have received the 2017 Neal Smith Entrepreneur of the Year Award, an award named in honor of the long-serving Iowa congressman, given to an Iowa entrepreneur who has been in business a minimum of three years and has been significantly assisted by an Iowa Small Business Development Center; NOW THEREFORE,BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, That the House of Representatives honors award winners Alisa Roth and Steve and Leona Fogle, congratulates them on their success, and recognizes and expresses its thanks to the Iowa Small Business Development Centers for their ongoing work in making Iowa a better place to live and work.”
This past Tuesday, the Iowa House was blessed by Beth Hunter of Albia. Beth sang Every Day People to provide the morning religious devotion for the day. Beth is an announcer at KIIC on 96.7 MHz FM. My wife Carol accompanied her to and from Des Moines. She did an outstanding job.
* April 1: League of Women Voters @ 10am at the Market on Main Street
* March 25: “Osky Eggs & Issues” @ 8:30am at Smokey Row in Oskaloosa.
* March 18: Albia Forum @ 8:30am First Iowa State Bank in Albia
* March 18: “Legislative Coffee” @ 10am in Centerville at the office of Chariton Planning and
Development; 308 North 12th Street.
Please contact me with any questions or concerns at email@example.com or 641-895-6153.