Capitol Comments, April 22, 2016

Tuesday, April 19 was the last scheduled day of the 2016 session, but it seems that we’re headed to at least one week of overtime. Even though not all of our work is finished for this year, we will be working without pay until some more of these issues are resolved. While the clock is running out, I believe it’s time for real progress on some of these key issues that already have overwhelming support from Iowans.  There were signs that we were headed toward adjournment with action on several of the necessary budget bills this week, but there were also some signs things are moving in the wrong direction.

Republicans are still ignoring the Medicaid privatization mess created by the Governor.  Instead of doing our job as lawmakers and providing vigorous oversight of the $4 billion privatization transition, Republicans refuse to pass any plan that has teeth to hold the private companies accountable or even create an avenue to fix problems or make recommendations as problems arise.  I firmly believe we have to take action on this before we adjourn for the year.

In other news, Students at Iowa’s 15 community colleges will be paying higher tuition next year local leaders said state funding won’t keep up with their rising costs again this year. Also, Polk County took the first step in exploring a plan to raise the minimum wage, following in the footsteps of Johnson County.

It is my honor and a humbling experience to be the State Representative for our community.  I appreciate the messages and correspondence I receive from people in the District.  You can always contact me anytime at bruce.bearinger@legis.iowa.gov or 515-281-3221.

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