Greetings from the Iowa Capitol
In case you have not been keeping track of what has been happening in Des Moines, we were heavily involved in debating and tweaking some very important legislation this week. The first of these which as I write this has now been signed into law by Governor Reynolds increases the State contribution to public schools to 3% from what had been 2.5% before. This will help local school districts in their budgetary work and has been done in good time this year.
Many do not know that these annual increases compound just as a good savings account will. For instance, the 2% increase of about 12 years ago has now actually become over 27% when figuring in the compounding. I know that this is not the figure that was sought by some, but it is manageable and coupled with policy changes should really help our schools but I’m hoping that it results in real classroom positives.
Secondly, (though not yet signed into law as I write this), the House passed Medical Malpractice tort reform that does two important things. It puts a limit on the financial awards for non-economic damages so that doctors and hospitals can perhaps plan insurance needs for accidental occurrences for which they are responsible, and it eliminates the 50% amount of punitive damages that was sent to the general fund and not given to plaintiffs for truly malicious or malpractice actions that either doctors or hospitals might cause. I believe that this new legislation will mean that more people who might have been harmed by accidental or possibly malicious actions could have more avenues for relief for their situation.
Probably the most difficult task here is to find ways in different measures to find balance between individual rights/protection with state-wide benefits. And I don’t ever expect that it will get easier, but I feel certainty that most if not all our legislators are constantly in that same wrestling match.
I want to again encourage you to contact me at any time with issues that are important to you that you feel we should be working on. I can’t promise that those will rise to the top, but I can assure you that I will give them my attention.
Sarah will include a list of other items that might be of interest.
If you would like to view the bills that were passed in the House this week, you can find a list of the bills with links to the legislative website: