The biggest news this week and across most of Iowa was the ice and snow storm that hit on Sunday and Monday. I have to confess that when one is Medicare eligible, it is not as much fun sliding sideways down a Des Moines street at 6:30 in the morning as it was when you were 18, and slipping and sliding in Aurelia, Iowa. Sometimes you make lane changes even if you don’t want to. Fortunately, there are two lanes, and nobody else is out there with you.
So far this session, there have been too many travel days that have been less than desirable, but I want to say “thank you” to our Department of Transportation employees, and all of our local city and county crews. Your work is much appreciated.
Most of our work this week was spent debating bills on the House floor. I am guessing we passed at least 50 bills, most of them without much debate. Some of the more controversial bills are still moving through the process, and will be debated later. It has been a productive week.
We are almost at the mid-point of the session, and work continues on the budget. The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) will meet in early March and provide us with new revenue estimates. When that happens, we will be able to establish spending targets for the FY 2019 budget. Our economy is still growing, and we are anticipating improved revenue projections, but it could go either way. We shall see.
While we wait for the REC numbers, lawmakers will continue to work on the issues that Iowans have told us are priorities. This list includes work on mental health issues, Medicare, opioid addiction, school funding and health insurance issues. There are also proposals out there which deal with tax reform, so we have a lot of work ahead of us.
I have had a lot of visitors at the Capitol, and this is great, and I have also been receiving many calls and E-mails regarding various issues, and I encourage any and all input. The last half of this session will move very quickly, so make sure you contact me if you have specific issues you are concerned about.
You may reach me at the Capitol during the week by phoning me at 515-281-3221, or my 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.