Contact Rep. Gaines:

Iowa Statehouse
Iowa House of Representatives
Des Moines, IA 50319

3501 Oxford
Des Moines, IA 50313

515-281-3221 (Capitol)


Capitol Comments

 Dear Constituent,

I hope you are enjoying this wonderful weather that we are currently experiencing. This week has gone by very quickly and we have passed numerous bills in the Iowa House. We are still deadlocked on the decision to give K-12 education in the state only 1.25% supplemental aid. Please continue to call Republican legislators and encourage them to support 4%-6% state supplemental aid.

Next week is spring break for many of you. I want to wish all of you on break a safe, happy and restful time away from school and work. I also hope that you return from break refreshed and charged up to finish the school year.  

Representative Gaines meets with IJAG students, Faith Nieketien (right) and Shallyah Mays(left) of Davenport on March 10, 2015.

Quanneisha Stewart (left) and Shelby Rhodes(right) of IJAG meet with Representative Gaines on Tuesday, March 10, 2015.

Constituent of the Week

About Ann Ketch

Author of children's books, National and State presenter, teacher trainer, article author, and two time winner of the 'Rotary Club Teacher of the Year' award, Ann Ketch attended St. Theresa's School and St. Joseph's Academy in Des Moines. Her university years were in St. Louis at Maryville University. Her graduate work was completed at Drake University.

For 39 years, Ann worked for the Des Moines Public Schools.   She worked as a Classroom Teacher for grades K-6, a Reading Recovery Teacher, Literacy Coordinator, and a Literacy Trainer.  Ann also taught a year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Presently, she is a part-time instructor at Grand View University.  Ann works with students who are becoming teachers.  Her work focuses on language acquisition and struggling readers.

Over the last 45 years, Ann has focused on accelerating the reading skills of struggling readers.  She is highly trained and loves the opportunity to train future teachers of struggling readers.

Ann has three grown children, and one grandchild, who also live in Des Moines.

Ann's children's books are used to help students who are beginning to read.  'The Reading Teacher' magazine article focuses on the use of language to empower comprehension. Presently, Ann is working on an article for publication that would relate science to literacy acquisition.


Grand View University is one of the outstanding education facilities in Iowa!  Instructors, like Ann, prepare students as knowledgeable teachers, who will work for the success of all students.

Ann is honored to be a part of the 'Constituent  of the Week'! newsletter publication by Representative Ruth Ann Gaines.

Broadband Bill Moves Forward in Legislature

The expansion of broadband access to all corners of Iowa has been a priority of both parties in the House and Senate, and bills are moving forward in each chamber.  At this time, the bills are not identical, but both have the same goal of expanding broadband internet access to more Iowans. 

The House bill allows for a ten year property tax exemption for companies that expand broadband to targeted service areas.  A targeted service area is one that doesn’t have access to broadband with 25 megabits per second of download and 3 megabits per second of upload speed. 

The definition of statewide school infrastructure funding is changed to clarify that school infrastructure funding includes the acquisition or installation of information technology infrastructure.  A grant program is set up to be administered under the Office of the Chief Information Officer, but the bill does not appropriate any money to this fund. 

The broadband bill in the House, House File 576, has passed out of the Commerce Committee and is now in the House Ways & Means Committee due to the allowance for property tax exemption for companies that expand broadband access to certain areas in Iowa. 

Veterans Trust Fund Continues Partnership with Iowa Lottery

The Iowa Lottery has transferred over $15.2 million to the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund since 2009 to fund services for Iowa veterans. The Iowa House this week passed a measure to solidify funding for the foreseeable future by approving a bill that will allocate $2.5 million annually from the lottery to the trust fund.

The money generated for the trust fund has come from dedicated scratch and pull tab tickets, but pull tabs have declined in popularity recently and this bill has been viewed as a necessary to make sure the trust fund is funded at appropriate levels. Annual funding as previously ranged from $1.8 million to $3.1 million and the $2.5 million is an average of the normal allocation.  The legislation has been passed both by the House and Senate and heads to Governor for his signature.

Currently, the Trust Fund covers unemployment or underemployment assistance due to service-related causes, assistance with vision, hearing, dental care, durable medical equipment, and prescription drugs; counseling and substance abuse services; housing repair; and transitional housing in an emergency.  The Iowa Veterans Commission reviews applications to the Trust Fund.  An application for the Trust Fund can be found here:

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