Caucus Newsletter 2010-02-17.pub by tfs77260

VIEWS: 36 PAGES: 13

									Wednesday, February 17, 2010                                                                   www.iowahouserepublicans.com

                                                                                               Inside this issue:
Republican Message Points
                  Budget                     spends $5.7 billion on general fund items         Appropriations       3
                                             - $5.3 billion from the general fund and
 House Republicans will not vote for a      $400 million from other sources.
                                                                                               Agriculture          3
budget that spends more than the state
receives in revenue.                          One direct result of the decisions
                                             made in the Governor’s budget is higher           Commerce             4
 Democrats released a list of budget        property taxes.
targets for the budget subcommittees                                                           Economic Growth      4
that give a partial view of their plan for    Local school districts are forced to
the FY 2011.                                 raise property taxes due to the Gover-
                                             nor’s failure to fully fund allowable             Education            5
 These targets give the public an in-       growth.
complete picture of the Democrats’                                                             Environmental        6
spending plan. However, based on the          The Governor appropriates $207.5                Protection
information available, it appears that       million from the Cash Reserve Fund.
legislative Democrats plan to carry for-     This means instead of finding savings,            Government           6
ward Gov. Culver’s property tax in-          he is borrowing money from the state’s            Oversight
creases.                                     reserve fund.
                                                                                               Human Resources      7
 House Republicans will not support a        According to the Auditor, the Governor
budget that spends more money than the       is proposing that the state spend $1.11           Judiciary            7
state takes in. Republicans have out-        for every dollar of available revenue.
lined over $600 million in cost-savings                                                        Labor                8
during the last two years. We will con-         Government Reorganization Bill
tinue to fight for limited government and
responsible budgeting as the bills move     Senate File 2088 is the State Govern-              Local Government     9
through the process.                        ment Reorganization Bill. To increase
                                            the savings in the bill, which amount to           Natural Resources    9
 Legislative Democrats claim they are      $61 million, House Republicans offered
making $260 million in spending reduc-      14 ideas that will save taxpayers an addi-
                                                                                               Public Safety        10
tions, yet the spending graph they distrib- tional $290 million in general fund dol-
uted this week clearly shows that their     lars:
budget spends the same amount as it did                                                        State Government     11
last year - $5.4 billion in FY 10 and $5.4 1) Eliminate Power Fund and Office of
billion in FY 11.                           Energy Independence - $25 million                  Transportation       12
                                             2) Eliminate the RIO office, give respon-
 Governor Culver’s Proposed Budget           sibilities to Homeland Security -- $1 mil         Veterans Affairs     12
                                             3) Eliminate taxpayer-funded lobbyists --
 Governor Culver’s FY 2011 budget
                                             $4 million                                        Ways and Means       13
spends more than it takes in.
                                             4) Cancel all Regents sabbaticals for FY
 Auditor Vaudt said last week the Gov-      2011 - $6 million
ernor’s budget exceeds the 99% spend-        5) End all state benefits to illegal immi-
ing limitation and is out of balance by as   grant adults -- $92.3 million
much as $400 million.
                                             6) Shift voluntary preschool responsibili-
                                             ties to Empowerment -- $45 million
 The total state revenue projection for
FY 2011 is $4.4 billion. The Governor
                                                                       (Continued on page 2)
House Republican Newsletter                                                                                                    Page 2

(Continued from page 1)                        them.                                          legislation seems to be more about “fare,”
                                                                                              inasmuch as the measure has the potential
7) Combine administrative functions at Re- 2007 Iowa Newspaper Editorials on Fair to dump millions of dollars into unions,
gents universities -- $62 million                          Share/Forced Unionism              which have seen their ranks decline in re-
8) Eliminate funding for empty shelter care                                                   cent years.”
beds -- $2 million                              On Sunday Feb. 4, 2007 the Sioux City
                                                Journal nailed what the Democrat’s plan is The Gazette summarized it’s position: “As
9) Delay implementation of core curriculum about: “Although the legislation technically much as proponents would like to position
for one year -- $10.5 million                   would not repeal Iowa’s Right to Work law, the debate about winning one for the little
10) Eliminate the family planning waiver -      its essential effect would be the same –      guy, it is not. This issue is more fundamen-
$2 million                                      forced unionism of workers.”                  tal than a classic labor-business clash. It is
11) Sell and completely privatize the state                                                   about the importance of individuals to make
vehicle fleet - $18 million                     On Tuesday Jan. 30, 2007 the Wall Street choices about where they work, and
                                                Journal called the Democrat’s effort to gut   whether they want to be represented by a
12) Sell or lease the Iowa Communications Right to Work the “Iowa Emigration Act”.            union. Being forced to do so is an infringe-
Network -- $15 million                                                                        ment on the basic rights Iowans cherish.”
13) Cut funding office supplies, service        The Journal stated “If the Iowa Legislature
contracts, equipment purchases – $5 mil-        wanted to chase jobs and employers out of On February 10, 2007 the Mason City
lion                                            the state, they couldn’t come up with a bet- Globe-Gazette wrote: “To some it looks like
                                                ter plan than undermining right to work.”     a classic quid pro quo. Unions have been
14) Eliminate the Just Eliminate Lies (JEL)
                                                                                              the most fervent backs of the Democratic
program -- $2.25 million
                                                Also according to the Journal:                Party and are licking their chops thinking
                                                “Right to work laws are strongly correlated now the Democrats control both house of
              Forced Unionism                   with faster growth in jobs and personal       the Legislature and the governor’s office in
                                                income.”                                      Iowa, it’s time for some payback that would
 According to the non-partisan Legislative                                                   boost union membership rates, which have
Services Agencies, unions stand to reap a “A recent survey by the National Right to           been declining.”
windfall of $5.3 million if HF 2420, the latest Work Institute found that, between 1986
forced unionism bill, passes.                   and 2006, 11 right-to-work states have        The Globe-Gazette went on to write: “We’d
                                                added 104,000 auto manufacturing jobs, a like to see the issue go away. Fair share
 Currently, unions covered by HF 2420          63% increase. The non right-to-work           could be a real detriment to the state’s abil-
collect about $5.7 in dues from their mem- states lost 130,000 auto jobs, or 15% over ity to attract new businesses. Various re-
bers. That money covers all activities of       the same period.”                             ports show some businesses won’t even
the union – political, operations, etc.                                                       consider locating in non-right to work
                                                David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register states. But beyond that, fair share simply
 If the forced unionism bill is approved,      noted in his column on Jan. 30, 2007 that,: isn’t fair.”
the unions could use the entire $5.3 million “…lawyers and others trying to craft the
confiscated from unwillingly non-union em- legislation to enact it are discovering that       On Febuary 13, 2007 the Burlington Hawk-
ployees to finance all the non-political op-    they can't do it without gutting part of the  eye wrote: “In addition to bargaining con-
erations of the union. Which means non-         right-to-work law. (That law also says it's   tracts, unions are very politically and so-
union employees will be subsidizing the         illegal to collect "dues, charges, fees, con- cially active. It’s simply wrong for them to
union.                                          tributions, fines or assessments to any la-   compel someone to financially support an
                                                bor union, labor association or labor organi- organization in which they have philosophi-
 It then frees up the remaining $5.7 mil-      zation" as a condition of employment.)        cal differences.
lion for a massive increase in union political
activism.                                       Labor is saying, "You promised fair share." Unions struggling to retain and grow mem-
                                                Democratic legislators are saying, "You       bership should look inside themselves and
 HF 2420 does not provide an opt-out for didn't tell us we'd have to gut the right-to-       create a marketing strategy to swell their
the non-member employee, and should an work law to do it." Labor replies: "So what's ranks. They have something to sell to a
employee refuse to pay the mandatory            wrong with that?"                             new employee, and should put their exper-
fees, the union can initiate legal proceed-                                                   tise at that endeavor.”
ings to force collection.                       On February 13, 2007 the Clinton Herald
                                                wrote: “Perhaps the words Fair Share don’t On February 18, 2007, the Des Moines
 HF 2420 not only forces non-union em-         scare you yet – but they should.”             Register wrote, “It is not exactly a repeal of
ployees to pay union dues, it allows the                                                      Iowa’s right to work law, but it would have
union to sue them if they refuse to pay         On February 13, 2007, the Cedar Rapids        the same effect on businesses looking at
                                                Gazette wrote: “The “fair” aspect of the      Iowa.
     Page 3                                                                                                   House Republican Newsletter

Appropriations                                                                                                   (Contact Lon Anderson at 1-5184.)


Democrats Release Partial Budget Targets, Keep Important Details Hidden
On Wednesday, Feb-                              spends the same amount as FY 2010.              subcommittee targets.
ruary 17, the Democ-
rats released partial                           Most of the reduction is in HHS, which          House Republicans will be reviewing the
budget targets for the                          would likely be an underfunding of Medi-        Democrats’ budget plan to if it does the
subcommittees.                                  caid. This simply pushes the problem off        following:
Once again, they only                           until January because Medicaid is an enti-
released the targets                            tlement and must be funded.                      The budget does not spend more than
for the budget sub-                                                                                 the state takes in
committees, which flies in the face of          The release of partial targets does not give     Does not raise taxes, including prop-
budget transparency and being truthful to       a sense of how much K-12 education will             erty taxes
Iowans about the real cost of state govern-     be underfunded, how much money will be           Proposes real government efficiency
ment services.                                  shifted from the Cash Reserve Fund, or              and reorganization
                                                how much tax credits will be reduced.
This only shows roughly $2.5 billion of the                                                     In addition, House Republicans will con-
general fund budget. The release shows          Because the lack of detail makes it impos-      tinue to offer budget savings ideas, includ-
that the Democrats are $475 million below       sible to compare apples to apples, there is     ing the $290 million in reductions offered
the Governor in the subcommittee areas          no way to know how much of the spending         on Senate File 2088, the State Government
and will approve a general fund budget that     gap is being reduced by due to the budget       Reorganization bill.



Agriculture                                                                                                         (Contact Lew Olson at 1-3096.)


2010 Schedule for Farmers Market Nutrition Program Training
On Thursday February 4, 2010, Iowa Sec-         crease the domestic consumption of agri-        www.agriculture.state.ia.us/
retary of Agriculture Bill Northey issued a     cultural commodities by giving participants     press/2010Press/press02042010.asp. To
press release encouraging Iowa fruit and        access to farmers markets and farm-             request a reservation for the desired train-
vegetable growers interested in accepting       stands. The programs are Congression-           ing session or for more information contact
checks from the Women, Infants, and Chil-       ally-authorized and run through the Iowa        Margaret Long at (515) 281-3632 or mar-
dren (WIC) and Senior Farmers Market            Department of Agriculture and Land Stew-        garet.long@iowaagriculture.gov.
Nutrition Programs (FMNP) to enroll in a        ardship. The WIC FMNP program currently
2010 training course. Growers must com-         serves participants in 67 of Iowa’s 99 coun-    The first WIC/Senior FMNP and WIC Cash
plete a training course before they can ac-     ties. Women and children ages 1-4 who are       Value Vouchers Vendor Training Sessions
cept the checks. In addition to the WIC         active participants in the program adminis-     is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Fri-
and Senior FMNP, this year there is a WIC       tered by the Department of Public Health        day, February 19, 2010 in Des Moines at
Cash Value Voucher program that will al-        are eligible for the Farmers Market Nutrition   the Wallace State Office Building Audito-
low certified vendors to redeem some of         Program.                                        rium, 502 East 9th Street. The following
the $2.2 million dollars in the new funds                                                       day (February 20th) at the same venue the
                                            To be eligible to receive the Senior Farm-
available to qualified families in the state.                                                   Iowa Farmers market Workshop will be
                                            ers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)                held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Through this program, women and children benefits, Seniors must be 60 years of age
enrolled in the WIC program will receive $6 or older at the time of their application, live     Other dates and times for the training at
and $10 vouchers respectively for the pur- in the service area of their local Area              numerous sites throughout the state will be
chase of fruits and vegetables. The Cash    Agency on Aging, and have a yearly in-              6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, March
Value Vouchers are issued monthly for       come equal to or less than 185 % of pov-            25, 2010; 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tuesday,
redemption in grocery stores, but the Iowa erty level. The WIC/Senior FMNP and WIC              April 6, 2010; 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon
Department of Public Health will also allow Cash Value Voucher training sessions will           Wednesday, April 14, 2010; and in the
these vouchers to be redeemed at farmers be offered via the Iowa Communications                 IDALS first floor conference room at the
markets and farmstands authorized by the Network (ICN). There is no cost to at-                 Wallace State Office Building 502 East 9th
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land     tend. Seating is limited at each site, so           Street in des Moines on both 2:00 p.m. –
Stewardship.                                registration is required. The dates, times          4:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 4, 2010 and 2:00
                                            and classroom sites can be accessed at              p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 29, 2010.
Farmers Market Nutrition Programs in-       the following website: http://
House Republican Newsletter                                                                                                           Page 4


Commerce                                                                                                               (Contact Brad Trow at 1-3471.)

Nuclear Power Gets Kickstart from Obama Administration
On Tuesday, President Obama announced               The amount of the loan guarantee is $8.3
the awarding of loan guarantees to allow            billion. The total cost of the new reactors is
for the first construction of a nuclear power       projected to require financing of $14 billion.
reactor in over thirty years. This step may         Construction of the new reactors will create
the be the first action in a real effort to truly   3,500 temporary jobs and 800 permanent
diversify the power sources available to            jobs once the project is completed. This
Americans in the future.                            may be an anomaly or this could be the
                                                    start of a revival of nuclear power in Amer-
As part of the 2005 energy legislation              ica.
passed by Congress, the Department of
Energy was given authority to offer $18.5
billion worth of loan guarantees for the con-        “This may be an anomaly or
struction of improved nuclear reactors.               this could be the start of a                of energy well into the future. What could
Despite strong opposition from environ-                                                           this mean for Iowa? The Duane Arnold
mental groups, the Obama Administration
                                                      revival of nuclear power...”                nuclear plant in Palo does have room for
has provided the first guarantee to the                                                           adding an additional reactor. While its
Southern Company. One of the nation’s               President Obama’s budget proposal in-         owners do not have plans for expansion at
largest utility companies, Southern will use        cludes tripling the amount of loan guaran-    this point, that could change with the avail-
the guarantee to build two new reactors at          tees so that there could be 10 new reactors ability of the loan guarantees.
an existing nuclear plant on the Georgia-           constructed has the potential to allow utili-
South Carolina border.                              ties to take steps to ensure a stable source


Economic Growth                                                                                                       (Contact Matt Hinch at 1-3298.)

2010 Iowa Wine and Beer Directory Published
The Iowa Tourism Office recently an-                have a positive impact on Iowa’s local           “...more than a dozen new
nounced the publication of the 2010 Iowa            economies. According to the latest Iowa
Wine and Beer Directory.                            Welcome Center survey, travelers spend              wineries and five new
                                                    on average $236 each time the visit an               breweries have been
The Iowa Wine and Beer Directory high-              Iowa winery or brewery.
lights 71 wineries and 23 breweries located                                                          established in Iowa during
throughout the State of Iowa. According to          Those interested in learning more about                 the past year.”
the Iowa Tourism Office, more than a                Iowa’s wine and beer industries can do so
dozen new wineries and five new breweries           by visiting: http://
have been established in Iowa during the            www.iowawineandbeer.com There individu- beer locations in Iowa and specific events
past year. Iowa’s wineries and breweries            als can access maps of all of the wine and scheduled at each location.


House Economic Growth Committee Funnel Survivors
Last Friday marked the deadline that bills          sidered by the full House to date.                  community. The bill permits the sales
sponsored by Representatives must clear                                                                 tax generated in the area to be rebated
House standing committees in order to                  House Study Bill 665 – a bill to encour-       to the municipality to finance the
remain eligible for consideration during the             age the appointment of young adults,           bonds. Under the bill four cents of the
remainder of the legislative session. The                age 18 through 35, to appointive               six cents collected in sales tax would
House Economic Growth Committee ap-                      boards, commissions, committees and            be distributed to the district to pay off
proved a handful of measures that now                    councils.                                      the bonds.
move to other committees of jurisdiction or
the full House.                                        House Study Bill 680 – a bill to allow  House File 783 – a bill to require the
                                                         cities and counties to issue bonds to     Department of Transportation to provide
The following proposals are those eligible               finance economic development within       an annual assessment on the impact of
for consideration that have not been con-                a designated undeveloped area in their                             (Continued on page 5)
      Page 5                                                                                                      House Republican Newsletter

(Continued from page 4)                             enter into an agreement to share the             licensed by the Food and Drug Admini-
                                                    property tax revenue generated by the            stration.
   federal and non-federal awarded con-             annexed land as well as zoning rights.
   tracts on socially and economically dis-                                                        House File 2305 – a bill to change the
   advantaged businesses. The bill sets         House File 2162 – a bill to encourage              definition of “rehabilitated” facilities per-
   aside 10% of dollars allocated to con-         the Department of Economic Develop-                taining to data centers eligible for sales
   tracts let by the Department of Transpor-      ment to assist businesses owned and                and use tax exemptions and refunds.
   tation to small businesses. In addition,       operated by disabled veterans to obtain
   the bill requires the Department of            state contracts.                                 House File 2322 – a bill to create a
   Transportation, in coordination with high-                                                        workforce development housing grant
   way contractors, to submit recommenda-  House File 2195 – a bill to allow inter-                program within the Iowa Finance Author-
   tions to the General Assembly and the          project transfers of moneys allocated for          ity.
   Governor by November 1, 2010 con-              fine arts projects in state owned build-
   cerning methods to track and assess the        ings.                                            House File 2370 – a bill to extend the
   participation of small and disadvantaged                                                          application deadline for areas seeking to
   businesses in receiving nonfederal high-  House File 2196 – a bill to make                      create enterprise zones from 2010 to
   way funding.                                   changes to the Iowa internship program             2012.
                                                  to allow students who attended an Iowa
 House File 2082 – a bill to provide a tax      high school but are attending an out of          House File 2381 – a bill to permit the
   credit to an individual or corporation that    state institution of higher learning to be         sale of liquor in gas stations.
   makes a charitable contribution to cer-        eligible to participate in the internship
   tain institutions engaged in regenerative      program. The bill also requires the              House File 2431 – a bill to reallocate
   medicine research (adult stem cell re-         Board of Regents to issue a report to the          $50,000 of Grow Iowa Values Fund dol-
   search).                                       DED board on the use of their portion of           lars to microenterprise development
                                                  Grow Iowa Value Funds dollars.                     organizations to provide training, market
 House File 2107 – a bill to allow the vol-                                                        analysis and other technical assistance
   untary severance and annexation of real  House File 2304 – a bill to provide a                  to microenterprises.
   property between two municipalities.           sales tax exemption for purchases made
   The bill also allows the municipalities to     by nonprofit community blood banks


Education                                                                                                           (Contact Ann McCarthy at 1-3015.)


School Property Taxes Increasing, But How Much?
School property taxes                             lion. This is an extraordinary - but explain-   dwindling cash reserves, or ask the prop-
go up each year.                                  able - number. The cost is so high be-          erty tax payer to pick up the difference.
That’s because each                               cause it includes the baggage of $270 mil-
year K-12 allowable                               lion from two across-the-board cuts, $202       Governor Culver funds $344 million of the
growth increases both                             million in one-time federal stimulus money      $514 million hole with state aid leaving a
state aid and property                            and a $15 million jump in preschool costs.      potential $170 million property tax increase.
taxes. Usually enroll-                                                                            Culver’s state aid number includes taking
ment and taxable                                  A “true 2” percent costs just $27 million       $100 million from the cash reserves. It
valuations are the key factors in predicting      (foundation formula and categorical             remains unclear how House and Senate
an individual district’s property tax bill. But   growth). The remaining $487 million is the      Democrats will deal with the $514 million
not in FY11.                                      baggage.                                        hole.

                                                  In recent days the question has sifted away Iowa school districts are knee deep in
 “The FY11 cost to fully fund
                                                  from “How did we get here?” to “How will    teacher contract negotiations. They are
  2% allowable growth next                        we pay for it?”                             half way through the budget hearing proc-
                                                                                              ess. All eyes are on the April 15th budget
   year is a whopping $514
                                                  School board members, taxpayers and         certification date and April 30th “pink slip-
            million.”                             legislators are looking for solutions. How  ping” of teachers.
                                                  much will the state pony up and how much
                                                  will fall on the backs of the property tax  Critical decisions loom in the upcoming
The FY11 cost to fully fund 2% allowable          payer? Shortfalls in state aid mean Iowa    weeks. And very soon Iowa taxpayers may
growth next year is a whopping $514 mil-          school districts must cut spending, use     be called upon to pick up the baggage.
House Republican Newsletter                                                                                                        Page 6


Environmental Protection                                                                                            (Contact Lew Olson at 1-3096.)


Increasing Fines for Errant Aerial Application of Ag Chemicals
On Thursday, February 11, 2010, the                                                         and $2,000 for third or subsequent viola-
House Environmental Protection Commit-                                                      tion. Additionally, the commercial applica-
tee passed House File 703 by a substan-                                                     tor who negligently applies pesticides using
tially party-line 13-aye to 7-nay vote. The                                                 an aircraft that causes personal injury is
bill, as amended by the Committee, re-                                                      guilty of a serious misdemeanor for the first
quires the Secretary of Agriculture to re-                                                  offense and an aggravated misdemeanor
voke the license of a commercial applicator                                                 for second or subsequent offense. The bill
who, on more than two occasions, applies       and such a form must be available in an      was amended by unanimous committee
pesticide from an airplane in a manner that    electronic format. Such a claim must be      vote to reduce the proposed penalties in
causes personal injury. The bill creates a     filed with IDALS within 60-days after the    HSB 703 as drafted that were $10,000 for
new subsection dealing with state pesticide    date injury is claimed to have happened.     first offense, $15,000 for second offense
regulations requiring IDALS to formulate       The bill provides for enhanced penalties for and $20,000 for third of subsequent of-
new forms for persons that wish to claim       aerial; commercial applicators that cause    fense.
they were injured by pesticides applied by     personal injury of not more than $1,000 for
a commercial applicator using an airplane      first offense, $1,500 for second offense,


Government Oversight                                                                                           (Contact Jason Chapman at 1-3440.)


Ombudsman Presents to Oversight
The state Ombudsman, William Angrick,          unemployment complaints have risen, and          owed for their work. The mentioned case
came before the Oversight Committee on         as services have been cut across the             is being looking into by the Department of
Wednesday morning to provide his first         board, mental health and child welfare           Corrections and some remuneration was
update of the year to the legislature. He      complaints have increased.                       received by the inmate, but the ombuds-
presented an overview of activity his office                                                    man is concerned that there may be other
received last year, as well as suggestions      The ombudsman focused his attention in          similar cases out there.
for possible legislative action on some is-     the presentation on issues that don’t nec-
sues his office deals with.                     essarily require a lot of state money to fix,   Work-release waiting lists was an area
                                                understanding the current budget situation      the ombudsman stressed the state could
The Ombudsman’s office is in place to help would likely drown out any legislation re-           save potentially substantial money. Be-
citizens of Iowa address grievances they        quiring more money.                             cause of a lack of available beds at work
face with state government. They get a                                                          release facilities, inmates on work release
number of information requests, as simple He noted that Public Records and Open                 are serving their sentences in prisons. One
as how to file documents or where to find       Meetings laws are often the source of           case involved an inmate on work-release
information, and complaint requests. The        complaints from citizens. He believes that      who remained in prison 351 days longer
staff of 15 fielded 4,825 cases last year,      much of this stems from a misunderstand-        than anticipated. At a cost of $85 a day in
which was an increase of 114 from 2008.         ing or ignorance by small towns and             prison, versus about $65 a day in a work-
The first month of 2010 has already seen        schools on the laws. These problems often       release facility, (plus eligibility for day re-
an increase of 9.9% over 2009’s first           deal with improper notice of meetings, clos-    porting at $32 a day and eventually parole
month.                                          ing meetings improperly, questioning why        at $3.75 a day) that cost was about
                                                citizens want records when records are          $25,000 more than it might have cost if
Notable increases in cases last year and        requested, ignoring citizen requests, timeli-   there was room. There is currently about
this year were in cases related to Iowa         ness of response to citizen requests, and       800 offenders on the waiting list for work-
Workforce Development, the Iowa Depart- costs of providing records. Most of these               release housing.
ment of Transportation, the Iowa Depart-        complaints are solved simply by educating
ment of Revenue, and the Iowa Depart-           the government entity on proper statutes.       Finally, the ombudsman again stressed his
ment of Human Services. Mr. Angrick at-                                                         belief that the state must confront its failure
tributed this to affects of the budget situa-   Court ordered restitutions were another         to comprehensively establish and fund
tion the state is facing. As the state is look- area that was brought up. Mr. Angrick           Community Based Mental Health Ser-
ing for more money, it has gotten more          mentioned a prison case in which a pris-        vices. He stated that it is poor public pol-
aggressive on debt collections, and as          oner was being improperly paid for their        icy and expensive for the state to rely on its
more and more people are losing their jobs, work and not receiving money they are                                            (Continued on page 7)
      Page 7                                                                                                   House Republican Newsletter

(Continued from page 6)                          correctional facilities. He provided a series   the office’s website at http://
                                                 of suggestions to the legislature that would    www.legis.state.ia.us/ombudsman/.
correctional facilities to treat mental health   help this issue.
issues. 45% of cases the office deals with
identified as mental health related are from     To contact the ombudsman, you can visit


Human Resources                                                                                                      (Contact Brad Trow at 1-3471.)


Health Care Reform Update
Discussions about the must do issue of                                                           latest Zogby International poll finds that 57
2009 stopped after last month’s election of      Outside the Capitol, a number of people         percent of Americans believe Congress
Scott Brown to the United States Senate.         from the right are suggesting that partici-     should scrap the current bills and start the
But as the President’s Day recess ends,          pants go for broke and lay out the full array   entire process over, as Republicans have
discussions in Washington on health care         of ideas that Republicans. Among these          asked. Even more interesting is the poll
reform will heat up once again.                  are Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich, who say        also finds the same number of Americans
                                                 that this is the ideal moment to show the       want Congress to tackle reform in pieces,
February 25 – Bipartisanship or Show-            country that Republicans do have sensible       not in a comprehensive bill.
manship?                                         ideas that could work. Among the ideas
Next Thursday, President Obama and con-          they want pushed hardest are medical mal-
gressional leaders will hold a bipartisan        practice reform, allowing health insurance       “While the public has made
meeting at Blair House in an effort to pro-      plans to be marketed across state lines,        its opposition clear, those on
ject the appearance of bipartisanship on         and focusing on quality care instead of
health care reform. Republicans and De-          quantity of care.
                                                                                                   the left are going all in and
mocrats will take part in the four hour tele-                                                       demanding Congress to
vised meeting, but what will be discussed        Will it even matter?
is a matter of debate. While President           While the President has promised to be
                                                                                                         move forward.”
Obama is promising a fresh start and an          open to ideas at the meeting, Speaker Pe-
openness to Republican ideas, he contin-         losi has not. The Speaker has not made          The Left – Do It Our Way, or Else!
ues to refuse to go back to square one.          any commitments about what results from         While the public has made its opposition
                                                 the meeting. Her staff has spent time lay-      clear, those on the left are going all in and
What will Republicans do?                        ing out the need for using the reconciliation   demanding Congress to move forward.
Congressional Republicans appear to be           and making the case that it is possible for     They do want changes, like pushing to
torn in their approach to the Summit.            House and Senate Democrats                      have the Public Option stuck back into the
House Republican leader John Boehner                                                             bill. Labor is walking away from a White
and the rest of the House leadership team        Will the President have a bill?                 House-brokered agreement on the Cadillac
are doing their best to drive down expecta-      When the meeting was announced, the             Tax.
tions for the meeting. They have submitted       White House committed to having its own
a series of questions about what will hap-       proposal for discussion. They also com-         What’s Next?
pen and who will participate. Central            mitted to ensuring that the American public     No one is really sure of what will happen
among these questions is whether the             had access to it prior to the meeting. But      on the 25th. Will compromise be found?
President is willing to follow the will of the   as February 25 draws closer, the White          Will Democrats abandon their dreams of
American people and start over. Senate           House has become unwilling to discuss           universal health care in hopes of regaining
Republicans have been more reserved in           any potential bill and the prospect of meet-    the political momentum lost? Will Republi-
their opinions. While some have ex-              ing this promise for public examination.        cans even show up?
pressed doubts over the chance of achiev-
ing a bipartisan breakthrough on the issue,      The Public – Start Over                         The only thing that anyone can agree on is
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell           The lack of discussion in Congress has not      the issue of lowering health care costs
has held his cards close to the vest.            mollified the opposition to the bills. In the   while improving quality is not going away.


Judiciary                                                                                                         (Contact Tony Phillips at 1-3026.)


Notable Judiciary Bills Survive First Funnel
With the passage of the first funnel week, a can that did not make it out of committee           year. However a number of notable bills did
number of bills both Democrat and Republi- will not be considered for passage this                                            (Continued on page 8)
House Republican Newsletter                                                                                                            Page 8

(Continued from page 7)                                where contractors and subcontractors            House File 2452 allows for an individ-
                                                       who have the ability to file a lien regis-        ual convicted of a 2nd offense OWI to
make it out of committee and are eligible              ter.                                              get a temporary restricted license ear-
for consideration.                                   House File 744 aids local law enforce-            lier if they install an ignition interlock
 House Study Bill 556 would allow re-                ment’s efforts to capture sexual preda-           device on their vehicle.
     tired judges to collect their retirement          tors by adding the offense of attempt-          House File 2453 would allow a child
     benefits and still teach up to six credit         ing to entice away a child.                       who is conceived following the death
     hours at a higher education institution.        House File 2307 allows for the recov-             of a parent to be recognized as legiti-
 House Study Bill 559 looks to protect               ery of restitution from an offender for           mate if the parents were married and
     buyers of newly constructed homes by              Medicaid expenditures made to treat               explicitly stipulated to the right to do so
     creating a state construction registry            the victim of a crime.                            before the death of that parent.



Labor                                                                                                                (Contact Lon Anderson at 1-5184.)


Labor Committee Approves Forced Unionism
On February 11, the House Labor Commit-           union dues for bargaining services and            The Democrats and the unions say that this
tee approved House Study Bill 702, which          another 10 percent of union dues for griev-       isn’t doing anything to Right to Work be-
allows the unions to charge a “bargaining         ance services for a total of 75 percent of        cause they aren’t requiring the employee to
and grievance reimbursement fee” to non-          union dues.                                       join a union or pay union dues. This is
union executive branch employees. The                                                               simply not true. Calling it a “fee” and not
bill is referred to as “fair share” and renders According to Fiscal Services, the bill would        “dues” does not change the fact that it will
Iowa’s Right to Work law nearly powerless.      double money going to the unions that rep-          be mandatory and the employee will have
                                                resent state employees. Currently those             no choice but to pay the fee.
Iowa Code Section 731.4 specifically states unions (six in all) collect $5.7 million a year
“It shall be unlawful for any person, firm,     in union dues. Under HSB 702 they would             House Republicans offered 17 amend-
association, labor organization or corpora- be able to collect an additional $5.3 million           ments to make the bill more palatable.
tion, or political subdivision, either directly from non-union employees.                           After all of the amendments to the bill were
or indirectly, or in any manner or by any                                                           defeated, the bill was approved on a party-
means as a prerequisite to or a condition of        “The average annual fair                        line vote.
employment to require any person to pay
dues, charges, fees, contributions, fines or         share fee for non-union                        The bill has been redrafted as House File
assessments to any labor union, labor as-         member would be $306 per                          2420. A public hearing was held on the bill
sociation or labor organization.”                                                                   on Wednesday, February 17 but the bill
                                                               employee.”                           was not scheduled for debate as of the
HSB 702 allows the unions who cover em-                                                             newsletter deadline.
ployees of the state’s executive branch
(including Regents) to bargain for a              The average annual union dues are $472            House Republicans oppose this attempt to
“reimbursement for employee bargaining            per employee. The average annual fair             begin dismantling the state’s Right to Work
and grievance services”. According to the         share fee for non-union member would be           law.
bill, the union can charge 65 percent of          $306 per employee.


New Report Details the Threat of Fair Share to the State’s Economic Climate
On February 15, the Iowa Policy Institute         firm that provides clients with in depth infor-      critically analyze policy posi-
released a report entitled “Labor Pains –         mation and expert analysis about pub-                  tions
Threats to Iowa’s Right to Work Law”. The         lic affairs important to Iowa voters and busi-       assess what Iowans are thinking about
report looks at the history behind the “fair      nesses. It works with individuals, con-                important issues
share” bill and examines the impact of fair       cerned citizen groups, businesses, non-              promote sound solutions to state and
share on the state’s Right to Work (RTW)          profits, lawmakers, political candidates,              local policy questions
law as well as its economic climate.              decision makers, and opinion leaders to:             and successfully articulate our client's
                                                                                                         position in the public square.
According to the group’s web site, the Iowa          research the background behind policy
Policy Institute is an independent research            issues                                                                    (Continued on page 9)
      Page 9                                                                                                   House Republican Newsletter

(Continued from page 8)                       plants owned by Mercedes, Nissan, BMW              crease of college-educated residents in 22
                                              and Honda are located in Alabama, South            RTW states was 33 percent higher than the
The report comes to the conclusion that       Carolina, Texas and other right-to-work            28 non-RTW states.
approving House File 2420 and implement- locales. A survey conducted two years ago
ing a fair share fee would be extremely       by the National Right to Work Institute            Finally, the report shows that according to
harmful to the state’s economic environ-      found that between 1986 and 2006, 11               the most recent figures from the US De-
ment.                                         right-to-work states have added 104,000            partment of Labor, 7 out of the 11 states
                                              auto manufacturing jobs, a 63 percent in-          with the highest unemployment are “fair
The report quotes a Wall Street Journal       crease. The non-right-to-work states lost          share” states, while 7 of the 10 states with
editorial from 2007 which states “If the Iowa 130,000 auto jobs, or 15 percent over the          the lowest unemployment rates are RTW
legislature wanted to chase jobs and em-      same period.” (January 30, 2007)                   states. The report goes on to conclude that
ployers out of the state, they couldn‘t come                                                     the best policy for Iowa is to keep the cur-
up with a better plan than undermining        Furthermore, the report shows that the cost        rent RTW status and oppose the imple-
RTW. Many international and domestic          of living is 24.5 percent lower in RTW             mentation of fair share fees.
companies won‘t consider locating a plant     states and college graduates flock to RTW
in a non-RTW state. Most of the new auto      states. Between 2000 and 2007, the in-


Local Government                                                                                                (Contact Ann McCarthy at 1-3015.)


Miami-Dade County Saves Time and Money With On-line Service
Florida’s Miami-Dade county found a truism      cutting out paperwork and the high anxiety       Successful bidders must put down a 5 per-
in the adage “necessity is the mother of        surrounding foreclosures. Handling four          cent refundable deposit. In just one week
invention.” Plagued by a massive number         times the number of auctions, the county         more than 2,500 people registered and
of home foreclosures county official this       estimates that the online auction could sell     more than $1.9 million in deposits received.
week launched an online bidding for fore-       up to 2,000 properties per week as com-
closed properties. The county expects to        pared to the 450 homes sold via the              Miami Dade Clerk of Court Harvey Ruvin
save $750,000 annually and 23 FTEs              clogged courthouse procedure.                    commented: “The word is out. This just
                                                                                                 opens up the universe to our process. We
Since 2008 the state of Florida has sold        Potential buyers register free and gain ac-      hope to have more people competing;
more than 20,000 homes by way of Internet       cess to thousands of foreclosed properties.      therefore the prices will go up.”
auction. A legislative changes was required     Buyers can take a street-level virtual tour of
to make all this possible.                      the neighborhood as well as view the fore-       Ruvin never worried about getting the auc-
                                                closed properties and link into a assessor’s     tion up and running. The county used the
The new Miami-Dade county system re-            report.                                          expertise of RealAution.com to launch this
places the traditional courthouse auction,                                                       successful cost savings effort.



Natural Resources                                                                                                   (Contact Lew Olson at 1-3096.)


Allocation Plan for Sustainable Natural Resource Funding Revenues
On Thursday, February 11, 2010, the             revenue into a constitutionally protected        provement and enhancement of parks,
House Natural Resources Committee               fund that can only be used for natural re-       added state forests to the Natural Re-
passed House Study Bill 700 that codifies       sources and conservation purposes. The           source Account The Senate Companion to
an allocation of revenue from a 3/8th of a      measure passed the committee by a unani-         HSB 700 is Senate File 2296 that was
penny sales and use tax revenue that may        mous 21-aye vote.                                passed by the Senate natural resources
happen in the future. This legislation is                                                        Committee on Tuesday, February 9, 2010
contingent upon passage a Iowa constitu-        The bill was amended to remove refer-            by a unanimous vote.
tional amendment that is on the ballot this     ences related to ‘outdoor recreation’, added
fall that dedicate 3/8th of a penny sales tax   language to use funds for restoration, im-

                          Proposed Codified Allocation of Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Fund
Account                        Description of use of allocated fund                                                              Proportion
Natural Resource Account       Provides DNR with additional funds for maintenance, establishment, restoration and
                               enhancement of parks, preserves, wildlife areas, wildlife habitats, native prairies, state
                               forests, and wetlands.                                                                                       23%
House Republican Newsletter                                                                                                         Page 10

Account                        Description of use of allocated fund                                                                Proportion
Soil Conservation & Water      Provide additional funds to IDALS for support soil conservation and watershed protec-
Protection Account             tion, including support of division and commissioners with emphasis on erodible lands,
                               and incentives for biomass for biofuel refineries.                                                             20%
Watershed Protection           Provide funds to for joint use by DNR & IDALS to support DNR water resource projects
Account                        that protect, restore and enhance water quality through the provision of financial assis-
                               tance to communities for impairment based, locally directed projects.                                          14%
REAP                           Provides additional funds to REAP for further allocation per current law                                       13%
Local Conservation Part-       Provides DNR with funds to allocate moneys for local communities’ initiatives involving
nership Account                parks, preserves, wildlife areas, wildlife habitats, native prairies and wetland; wildlife
                               diversity programs, recreational purposes, improvement of water trails, rivers and
                               streams, education and outreach programs concerning natural history, outdoor safety
                               and ethics.                                                                                                    13%
Trails Account                 Provides additional funds for DOT and DNR to support land trail initiatives related to
                               design, establishment, maintenance, improvement and expansion of land trails for
                               equestrian use, bicycles, walking, hiking, nature study or cross country skiing. In addi-
                               tion, such funds maybe used to support water trails design, establishment, mainte-
                               nance, improvement and expansion.                                                                              10%
Lake Restoration Account       Provides additional funds to DNR to support public lake restoration initiatives that im-
                               proves a lake’s recreational, environmental, aesthetic, ecological and social value.                            7%


DNR Seeks Members for Brushy Creek Trail Advisory Board
On Tuesday, February 16, 2010, the Iowa         at Brushy Creek, a popular equestrian and        ber of the board, go to the following web-
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)           multi-use recreation area in Webster             page-- www.iowadnr.gov/bcreek/
issued a press release informing hikers,        County. The DNR is looking for qualified         index.html. The form for serving on the
bikers and horseback riders interested in       applicants who actively participate in rec-      board can be found in the middle of the
Brushy Creek State Recreation Area to           reational trail activities, from hiking, bicy-   page.
serve on the Brushy Creek Trail Advisory        cling and horseback riding to snowmobiling
Board. The 10-member Board is responsi-         and cross country skiing. There are cur-         Deadline for applications is 4:30 p.m.
ble for advising the DNR on issues and          rently two board positions open, each serv-      March 15, 2010.
recommendations regarding the develop-          ing a three-year term. For more informa-
ment and maintenance of 45 miles of trails      tion about the board or becoming a mem-


Public Safety                                                                                                      (Contact Tony Phillips at 1-3026.)


Adjutant General Timothy Orr Delivers First Condition of the Guard
With the retirement of General Ron Dardis       now been more than 8 years since the at-         “among the most seasoned and experi-
early last year, the Legislature welcomed       tacks of September 11th, and as it stands        enced military professionals our state has
his replacement, Adjutant General Timothy       today more than half of our force are com-       ever fielded, in our more than 170 year
Orr, to deliver his first Condition of the      bat or deployment veterans.                      history,” according to General Orr. Even so,
Guard speech to the State on Tuesday.                                                            we currently have the lowest number of
                                                The recent contributions of the Iowa Na-         personnel deployed since the war on ter-
General Orr focused on three key areas in       tional Guard has resulted in a force that is     rorism began.
his speech: review where the Guard has
come over the last several years, discuss                                                        General Orr recognized the strain that has
the agenda for the next year, and highlight                                                      been put on the Guard in recent years but
the ways we are taking care of our troops.                                                       provided optimism in that they are transi-
                                                                                                 tioning from a Strategic Reserve to an Op-
In regards to the actions of the last several                                                    erational Reserve which will enable sus-
years, the General noted that more than                                                          tained readiness and make deployments
14,000 of our personnel have served in                                                           more predictable.. In fact, General Orr said
Iraq and Afghanistan, peacekeeping duties                                                        the Guard is closer to what he called a total
in the Balkans and Sinai Peninsula, and                                                          force today than at any time in his 31 years
domestic support missions in Iowa. It has                                                                                    (Continued on page 11)
     Page 11                                                                                                    House Republican Newsletter

(Continued from page 10)                        struction projects, while additionally receiv-   get the help they need and remain a part of
                                                ing nearly $11 million from the federal          the military family.
of service.                                     stimulus bill. These monies have funded
                                                more than 20 infrastructure projects this        The Guard also continues to work on the
Despite being at war for 8 years, the Iowa      year.                                            mental health needs of both soldiers and
National Guard has been at 100% strength                                                         families. New programs to increase the
for 9 straight years now. General Orr             “...the Guard’s retention                      resilience of soldiers and family are being
proudly pointed to the fact that the Guard’s                                                     employed and the number of Family Assis-
retention rates exceeds national goals and      rates exceeds national goals                     tance Specialists has increased from 4 to
remains among the highest in the nation.           and remains among the                         7. These specialist check in on families
                                                                                                 during a deployment and help them con-
Looking forward, General Orr highlighted            highest in the nation.”                      nect with military, community and veteran
what he calls the Iowa National Guard                                                            resources.
Campaign Plan whose goal is the develop-
ment of a future Iowa National Guard that       The final priority highlighted by General Orr    Finally, General Orr thanked the people of
is capable of responding to a variety of        covered the efforts of caring for Soldiers,      Iowa for the continued support for the men
military and domestic operations.               Airmen, Families and Employers. The Sur-         and women in uniform and their families.
                                                vivor Outreach Support program assist the        As the Guard faces challenges, it is clear
The Guard has made significant invest-          families of fallen soldiers through educa-       the support of fellow Iowans is appreciated
ments in facilities in recent years. Since      tion, support groups, and counseling. A          by soldiers and their families.
2007, they have received more than $152         coordinator was recently hired by the pro-
million in federal and state funding for con-   gram and will help ensure these families


State Government                                                                                                 (Contact Kristi Kielhorn at 2-5290.)


House Approves Government Reorganization
Senate File 2088 “Government Reorgani-          approximately $117,000 of general fund           fund. Another way the bill makes more
zation” was passed 98-0 by the House last       monies. The bill also directs the state to       money for the state is through the lowering
Monday after countless amendments and           create new means to aid in the identifica-       of the gambling setoff threshold. This is
two days of debate. The bill passed by the      tion of Medicaid fraud.                          estimated to bring in $4.6 million for the
House is significantly different than the one                                                    general fund.
passed by the Senate; making their recon-      In another section, the bill prohibits DHS
ciliation complicated. The version passed      from accepting new applications to the            This is just a sampling of where the total
by the House is estimated to save $70.6        Family Support Subsidy program. This pro-         savings come from, a more comprehensive
million to the state’s general fund and        gram aids low-income families with men-           spreadsheet is available from fiscal ser-
$55.7 million to other funds in Fiscal Year    tally or emotionally disabled children. This      vices. The amount of savings actually real-
2011.                                          is estimated to save the general fund about       ized by Senate File 2088 will remain an
                                               $355,000. The bill also directs DHS to cap        estimate until a final version is agreed to by
The government reorganization bill aims to the legal fees paid to families who adopt at          the House and Senate.
create efficiencies and cut costs in many      $500. The savings is estimated to be about
aspects of state government. One major         $145,800. The general fund will save $7.5
reorganization aspect of the bills is the con- million with a new DAS centralized pur-
solidation of most of the state’s information chasing system and about $1.5 million with
technology systems. The consolidation will the closure of two prison work farms near
save an estimated one million dollars in       Fort Madison.
Fiscal Year 2011 with little disruption to the
public.                                        The bill not only aims to save money, but
                                               some sections actually bring money into
Another provision of the bill directs that     the general fund. Under the bill, the Depart-
doctors can only write prescriptions for a     ment of Revenue can hire five full-time
maximum of seven days for any drug not         employees to aid in the collection of taxes
on the Medicaid Preferred Drug List without owed to the state. This is estimated to bring
first seeking approval. This would save        in an additional $2.7 million to the general
House Republican Newsletter                                                                                                         Page 12


Transportation                                                                                                   (Contact Kristi Kielhorn at 2-5290.)


Long-Awaited Texting Bill will be Debated in the House Next Week
Next week the House will consider a bill                                                       of the new prohibition.
that would make texting while driving ille-
gal. House File 2021 was passed by the                                                           However, if a person is involved in an acci-
House Transportation Committee by a vote                                                         dent that results in serious injury or death,
of 20–1 and will be before the house as                                                          and it is found that the person was violating
House File 2456.                                                                                 the texting ban at the time of the accident,
                                                                                                 there are much harsher penalties. That
The bill does not apply penalties to or make                                                     person would be subject to a fine of $500
illegal the use of cell phones while driving   parked in a parking lot or pulled over on the and/or a 90 day suspension of their license
or the use of global positioning systems or side of the road and still legally text. In          (serious injury) or a fine of $1,000 and/or a
navigational systems while driving. It is only those instances a person is operating a           180 day suspension of their license
a ban on texting while driving.                vehicle, but not driving a vehicle. Addition- (death).
                                               ally, the bill specifically states that inputting
                                               a telephone number for the purpose of             Violations of the texting ban are not consid-
    “It is only a ban on texting               making a telephone call is not texting, and ered when defining a habitual offender and
             while driving.”                   is therefore not banned.                          the DOT will not consider texting violations
                                                                                                 when making a decision on a possible li-
                                               A person found in violation of the ban will       cense suspension. Cities and counties are
                                               be guilty of a simple misdemeanor and will preempted from enacted ordinances having
The bill directs that it will be illegal for a be required to pay a scheduled fine of $30 to do with texting to avoid confusion and
person to text while actually driving a vehi- dollars. Warning citations will be issued          complicated enforcement.
cle. This is an important distinction from the from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011 to
“operation” of a vehicle. A person can be      allow for the public to become fully aware


Veterans Affairs                                                                                               (Contact Jason Chapman at 1-3440.)


Veterans Day as a Holiday for Veterans
The House passed a bill last week allowing paid, compensation pay in lieu of a day or,         veterans day. The original intent was to
veterans in the state of Iowa to receive   or a compensatory day, paid or unpaid, at a         provide veterans with their day off, not to
Veterans Day, November 11th, as a holi-    later date.                                         burden Iowa’s employers by mandating a
day if they choose. The bill, House File                                                       floating holiday to be used at any time dur-
2197, passed the House on Wednesday,                                                           ing the year. An amendment to reduce the
February 10, by a vote of 93-2.            “The employer has discretion                        language was agreed upon and adopted.
                                                 on whether that time off will
The original bill had resistance through                                                     The final result requires employers to pro-
committee because it opened the scope of
                                                     be paid or unpaid.”                     vide each employee who is a veteran with
the intent too much and put an unneces-                                                      holiday time off for Veterans Day if they
sary burden on Iowa’s employers. It al-                                                      would otherwise be required to work that
lowed for a veteran to receive Veterans        However, when the bill hit the floor, it was  day. The employer has discretion on
Day as a paid holiday or to receive com-       pared down to a narrower focus. The com- whether that time off will be paid or unpaid.
pensation in lieu of a day off. An amend-      mittee result (and a clean-up amendment       The bill also requires that the Veteran re-
ment was adopted in committee which then       on the floor) left the bill giving veterans a quest the time off 30 days in advance and
gave the employer the option to choose         day off for veterans day, or what amounted provide a federal document of discharge for
whether to provide a day off, paid or un-      to essentially a floating holiday in lieu of  proof of service.



Reaching Veterans Post-deployment
The veterans committee passed two study        to veterans who may be suffering from           mously, with understanding that more work
bills at the end of funnel week last week      post-deployment issues related to their         needs to be done on both bills before they
that would help provide ways to reach out      service. Both passed committee unani-                                         (Continued on page 13)
     Page 13                                                                                                 House Republican Newsletter

(Continued from page 12)                       with money from a tax check-off. The out-       county recorders offices to receive home-
                                               reach coordinator would be either an exist-     stead tax deductions and other services.
hit the floor.                                 ing county commission of veterans affairs       Currently the Department of Defense pro-
                                               employee, or a new hire to deal specifically    vides copies of most soldier’s DD-214s to
Discussions in committee this year have        with the scope of this legislation.             Iowa’s Department of Veterans Affairs. But
pointed to stumbling blocks in the path to                                                     neither the county recorder nor the depart-
establishing networks of support for return-   Issues with the bill, however, will need to     ment have a complete file of returned sol-
ing military members, particularly those not   be examined and addressed before the bill       dier’s DD-214s.
in the Iowa National Guard. With no sup-       progresses. County commission of veter-
port network, some soldiers may miss op-       ans affairs representatives stated that the     As several other states already do, the
portunities for federal and state benefits     outreach coordinator position would be          study bill would require the department to
owed to them and may slip through the          unnecessary, as that is the role of already     forward copies of their received DD-214s to
cracks of early detection of post-traumatic    existing county veterans service officers.      the county veterans services offices so that
stress disorder and other related issues.      Also, issues with the tax check-off were        the officers in those counties can identify
Both of the bills passed are steps towards     brought up. Would it compete with the           and provide outreach to their local veter-
addressing this issue.                         existing veterans trust fund check-off? And     ans. The bill puts the commission of veter-
                                               if not, the check-off would take several        ans affairs on the same level of permission
House Study Bill 722 would establish a         years at least to provide enough funds for      as the department as it relates to discharge
veterans outreach fund and veterans out-       the minimum level required in the bill. Other   documents so that the county offices can
reach coordinator in each county. The          ways to provide money for the fund need to      receive these documents.
fund, which would be administered by the       found.
state treasurer, and would provide money                                                       An amendment is expected on the floor
to each county commission of veterans          House Study Bill 724 takes a step in            which would also require the county record-
affairs for purposes of outreach. Money        keeping the department and the county           ers office to provide any filed DD-214s they
from the fund could not be spent until the     offices aware of returning veterans in the      receive to both the department and their
fund reaches a minimum of $250,000, how-       state. When soldiers return from active         local county veterans service office. This
ever, at $100,000 the fund money can be        duty, they receive a form called a DD-214,      will help fill any holes in the department’s
spent for purposes of receiving matching       which is a discharge paper identifying their    records of Iowa’s veterans.
federal money. The fund would be filled        service. Some soldiers file these with their


Ways and Means                                                                                                   (Contact Matt Hinch at 1-3298.)


Bill Moves To Give Department of Revenue Subpoena Power
On February 17, 2010, the House Ways           providers.                                   locate individuals who owe back taxes,
and Means Committee approved House                                                          penalties and interest. They believe that
File 816 by a vote of 23 – 0. The bill now    HF 816 requires the Department of Reve-       many unreachable delinquent taxpayers
awaits further consideration by the full      nue to show reasonable cause that the         are currently living in Iowa. Therefore, if the
House. The proposal makes it easier for       utility records are necessary to assist the   department had the ability to cross refer-
the Iowa Department of Revenue to obtain      department in recovering debts owed by        ence their records with the records of utility
personal information about individuals who    the customer, and grants subpoena author- companies, they would be able to access
owe delinquent income taxes, penalties        ity only after reasonable efforts have been addresses and phone numbers of those
and interest to the State of Iowa.            made to identify and locate the individuals. individuals, making it more likely the de-
                                              In addition, the bill states that companies   partment can contact them and recover the
House File 816, provides the Iowa Depart- shall not be held liable for good faith and       debt that is owed.
ment of Revenue with the ability to sub-      reasonable actions taken when complying
poena customer records held by public and with the subpoena.                                Accordingly, the Department of Revenue
private utility companies. Under the bill,                                                  estimates that a minimum of $1 million of
public and private utilities include cellular The Department of Revenue believes this       additional debt will be collected each year if
telephone companies, internet providers,      new authority is necessary in helping them the subpoena authority authorized under
video providers, satellite television compa- with their collection activities. Often times, the bill is available to the department.
nies, public utilities and cable television   the Department of Revenue is unable to

								
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