The second week of the current session was a short one due to the Martin Luther King Holiday on Monday. There was no floor debate as standing committees begin to receive bills and budget sub-committees begin the process of hearing from various presenters, and going over the Governor’s budget proposals line by line.
Sometimes it seems that the legislative process is slow, but I expect a few bills to be reported out of standing committees next week, which means they will then become eligible for floor debate. The pace will pick up soon.
There have been groups here at the Capitol promoting legislation, and there have been groups here protesting various proposals. This type of activity will take place the entire session, and this is good. This is one way for legislators to hear the concerns of Iowans as we move through the process. It is how we figure out what needs to be done to make life better for the people of Iowa. I welcome all input.
In her State of the State remarks Governor Kim Reynolds acknowledged that we are having problems with our managed care initiative regarding Medicaid. People are meeting with those involved with the program to make sure we can get this right. This is good.
She has hired a new Director of the Department of Human Services as well as a new Medicaid Diretor, and I applaud her efforts to make sure that our people in need get the care they need. The Governor spoke from the heart, and I truly believe we will make this work.
A few issues we will be working on in the next few weeks include Supplemental State for Schools, Higher Education and refilling our cash reserves. We will also need to make adjustments to the current budget, which will end at the end of June. This will mean we have to make some cuts again, and it won’t be easy. Hopefully, some of the cuts we make now will be “made up” in next year’s budget.
You may reach me at the Capitol during the week by phoning me at 515-281-3221, or at home is 712-434-5880. You may write me at the State Capitol, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. My home address is P. O. Box 398, Aurelia, Iowa 51005. If you have email, please contact me at [email protected]