Water quality, school funding and Medicaid top 2018 issues

CAPITOL LETTERS

BY STATE REPRESENTATIVE DAN A. HUSEMAN

District 3, R-Aurelia

The Second Session of the Eighty-Seventh General Assembly gaveled in at 10 a.m. on Jan. 8, 2018. After the opening speeches by leaders from both parties, it was down to business, as this is scheduled to be a 100-day session. Committees met and organized in the afternoon and the House Chamber was readied for the Tuesday morning Condition of the State address which was delivered by Governor Kim Reynolds. This was her first address to the General Assembly since becoming Governor last year when she took over the reins from Governor Terry Branstad, who is now the United States Ambassador to China. She did an excellent job of presenting her agenda and proposed budget for FY 2019. I look forward to working with her.

On Tuesday, Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, Mark Cady, addressed the Joint Session of the Legislature regarding the Condition of the State’s Judicial System and General Tim Orr reported on the state of the Iowa National Guard on Thursday.

Committees continue to meet and organize in the afternoons. Bills are being filed and introduced, so we are off!

There is a winter storm bearing down on Iowa, and there are no votes scheduled, so some lawmakers are heading home a day early. There is nothing to report on as far as legislation is concerned, except to list some of the potential issues that may come up this session.

The Governor wants the Legislature to send a water quality bill to her early in the session, and I believe we will do that. The state budget will be tight, and we are already working on that. We need to set K-12 school funding early so local boards know what is going to be available. Medicaid privitization is not working the way it should, so we need to get this right. Tax reform will be debated, but I am not sure what the final product will look like. I believe the Legislature needs to extend the school infrastructure tax and I believe there are the votes to do this. Finally, I want everyone to know that we will NOT be changing IPERS. I welcome any and all input from my constituents on whatever issues you believe need to be addressed.

My Committee assignments this year include Appropriations, Transportation and Natural Resources. I will once again be chairing the Transportation, Infrastructure and Capitals budget sub-committee.

It is an honor and privilege to serve as your Representative in Des Moines, so please feel free to contact me at any time. You may reach me at the Capitol during the week by phoning me at 515-281-3221, or at home on weekends at 712-434-5880. You may write me at the State Capitol, Des Moines, Iowa, 50319. My home is P. O. Box 398, Aurelia, Iowa 51005. If you have email, please contact me at dan.huseman@legis.iowa.gov.