Area Legislators Field Questions At Eggs And Issues

Sen. Ken Rozenboom, Rep. Holly Brink, and Rep. Dustin Hite at Eggs and Issues 2021.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Finding a way to keep connected and allow for debate and conversation was one of the keys the Mahaska Chamber and Development Group was looking for when choosing to continue with Eggs and Issues for 2021.

Things are different, and the conversation takes place over a live stream, with constituents fielding questions in real-time over those streams.

The live feed, seen on the Mahaska Chamber and Development Group Facebook page and the Oskaloosa News Facebook page starting at 8:30 am on Saturday, hosted Representatives Holly Brink and Dustin Hite, along with Senator Ken Rozenboom.

Each legislator gave a short introduction of themselves and their positions within state government before the first questions were asked.

A question regarding state income tax and substituting sales tax was asked of the legislators.

Senator Ken Rozenboom said that it sounded like the “Invest in Iowa” program that the governor submitted last year but had chosen not to resubmit that same tax bill this year. “She has talked about reducing the income tax. So we’ll have that discussion.”

Regarding the bottle bill in Iowa, Rozenboom said that a couple of bills had been submitted in the Senate so far this year, and he’s aware of a bill submitted in the House to eliminate the bottle bill program.

“I’m working on a bill myself that has not yet been filed,” explained Rozenboom, who said he plans to submit that bill in the next week or two.

He explained that his bottle bill would continue the bottle bill as we know it but double the handling fee and remove retailers’ requirement to take the receptacles back.

Other details of the upcoming bill would include an audit system to enable better tracking of the program.

A viewer was curious about the ways the legislature has supported childcare and early childhood workers during the past year.

Rep. Holly Brink said she and those in the legislator understood that those individuals were an “essential thing that we need.”

Brink said those individuals taking care of the children allow the workforce and businesses to grow. She added that her belief was that four bills had entered the House in support.

The first of those she explained was encouraging private-public partnerships to invest in more childcare facilities or upgrades to those facilities.

Brink also said they are looking at how better to help individuals that may be getting childcare assistance now, but if their pay were to increase, they would lose that assistance, “and so they’ll actually go in the hole $160 a week.”

Rep Dustin Hite said that the bills that didn’t make it last year due to COVID are being funneled through the Human Resources Committee and he expects to see that legislation sometime in the middle of the session.

Oskaloosa Mayor Dave Krutzfelt asked the legislators about road tax and funding dependant upon fuel sales. With fewer miles being driven and more hybrid vehicles on the road, has it had a significant effect on road construction and repair?

Brink said that she sits on the Appropriations Committee, and certain portions of the budget have taken a hit, and she explained that they don’t have a solution yet, “but we are absolutely discussing it.”

Rozenboom sits on the Transportation Committee and said they haven’t dealt with the financial numbers yet.

“Your point is well taken,” said Rozenboom to Krutzfeldt’s question. “That was part of the problem with why some of us thought we needed to raise it several years ago.”

He went on to say of the budget, “So we’ll be taking a look at that.”

Hite said that the legislature looks at registration fees for those types of vehicles. “So I know that’s something at least that we’re consciously aware of, that as our modes of transportation change, we may have to change the way in which we raise funds for that.”

The next Eggs and Issues will be on February 13th and will feature officials from Mahaska County and the City of Oskaloosa.

The Legislators will be back on February 27th with Ken Rozenboom, Holly Brink, and Dustin Hite.

All Eggs and Issues broadcasts are scheduled to begin at 8:30 am and will be an hour in length.

You can watch the full Eggs and Issues broadcast below.

Posted by on Jan 24 2021. Filed under Local News, Politics, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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