Contact Rep. Hanson:
Iowa House of Representatives
Des Moines, IA 50319
801 North Court St.
Fairfield, IA 52556
I was happy to see a packed Fairfield Arts and Convention Center upon my arrival last Thursday for such an important event. Max Rodrigues Garcia, a 93 year old Holocaust survivor, spoke of his harrowing experience in a talk titled “Auschwitz, Auschwitz I cannot forget you… as long as I remain alive.” This talk reminded me of a quote by Elie Wiesel in his book Night, “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” We must step forward whenever any racial, religious, or ethnic group is persecuted.
I served on the subcommittee this week for SF 455, a bill that establishes a 10-year plan to bring per-pupil costs to the same level for every school district and creates transportation weighting that will be implemented in the school aid formula. I have heard support from local school officials and appreciated the attendance of three constituents at the first subcommittee meeting on Tuesday: Dan Maeder, Davis County Superintendent; Dave Harper, Pekin Superintendent; and Brian Warning, a parent of students in the Davis County School District. I was happy to introduce Dan, Dave, and Brian to the floor where they received a warm House welcome. On Wednesday the House Education Committee passed the bill and it is likely to be sent to the Ways and Means Committee.
We debated several bills on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and most of which were non-controversial. Although HF 484 has been eligible for debate for several days, we have yet to begin floor discussion. HF 484 is a bill that dissolves the Des Moines Waterworks board and creates an extra layer of local government to administer the utilities. I am not in support of this bill because I feel as if it is a local control issue best worked out at the local level.
On Wednesday we debated HF 573, a bill dealing with home rule and school districts. While it sounds like a good idea and I generally favor home rule, I believe it is best approached in the same way we established home rule for cities and counties through constitutional amendment. The bill passed on a 61-38 vote.
We also debated HF 566 on Wednesday, a bill dealing with city and school elections. School board and city council voters are often a different group of interested voters when compared to the general election group. I voted no on this bill because I think many who vote in the November election may not have followed the local school board and city council candidates, and therefore may not be able to cast an informed and educated vote. The bill passed on a 68-31 vote.
A third bill debated on Wednesday is one constituents have expressed significant opposition to. HF 468, now SF 447, extends nuisance lawsuit protections to owners of confined animal feeding operations. Under the legislation, damages are capped and the scope of evidence is narrowed. This means it would be much more difficult and expensive for neighbors to contest a CAFO nuisance. I’m concerned that this bill restricts the constitutional rights of the people. It is a bill that goes too far and could promote more bad actors and further damages good neighbor relationships; however, the bill passed on a 60-39 vote.
On Wednesday I welcomed three Farm Bureau members to the House: Mark Hines of Appanoose County, Jason Prevo of Davis County, and John Moritz of Davis County. We discussed water quality investments, the county costs of mental healthcare, and the size of regions under the mental health reforms enacted several years ago.
Legislative Forums: The final Fairfield Chamber of Commerce Legislative forum will be held on April 15th at 7:30 a.m. at the Fairfield Public Library. My final personal forum will be held on April 22nd. I will meet with constituents in Keosauqua at Great Day Cafe at 9:00 a.m. and in Bloomfield at Rancho Centinela at 12:00.
Please phone or email me with your comments and concerns. You may email me at Curt.Hanson@legis.iowa.gov or you may telephone me at 641-919-2314. Your message is important to me and the people of this district.
On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Representative Curt Hanson welcomed superintendents, Dan Maeder of Davis County, Dave Harper of Pekin and Sigourney County and parent Brian Warning of Davis County. The group discussed supplemental aid including transportation costs of school districts.
On Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 Representative Scott Ourth welcomed members from the Appanoose and Davis County Farm Bureau. Pictured from left to right: Mark hines of Appanoose County, Jason Prevo of Davis County, Representative Hanson and John Moritz of Davis County.
Iowa's Workers' Compensation Legislation Moves to Senate
Iowa workers injured on the job would receive less medical care and benefits under a plan approved by Republican lawmakers in the Iowa House.
For around 100 years the Iowa’s workers’ compensation law has acted to balance the rights of employers with those of employees. As part of the balance, if an employee is injured, they cannot sue the employer, and the employer will pay compensation benefits based on the type of injury the employee suffered while on the job.
The Republican bill, which is now being considered in the Iowa Senate, makes numerous changes to Iowa’s workers’ compensation. In addition to limiting how long an injured worker can receive benefits, the bill reclassifies how a shoulder injury is compensated by moving the injury from a whole body injury to a scheduled injury. This eliminates an additional benefit an injured employee may have qualified for had the injury been classified as whole body.
Employers would also be required to take into account pre-existing conditions and past injuries in determining benefits for a new injury. Lastly, the bill no longer incentivizes employers to pay compensation benefits to injured employees on time. As a result, injured workers may have to wait years after they were injured on the job to receive compensation benefits.
These changes would take effect on July 1, 2017, and apply to injuries and claims filed after that date.
Headaches Continue for Medicaid Privatization
A new dispute between one of the three for-profit companies managing the state’s Medicaid program and one of the state’s largest health care providers could soon leave 22,000 Iowans scrambling to find another health care provider.
After reporting millions in losses earlier this year, AmeriHealth Caritas has notified patients of the Mercy Health Network that they are having difficulty getting Mercy to agree to lower reimbursement rates for the services they provide to Iowans on Medicaid.
AmeriHealth has also informed providers that they will cut their pay for the services they provide to keep people in their home longer. As a result, many consumers will lose the services they need to stay at home, where they want to be. Studies have shown keeping a person in their home longer is more cost effective than a person living in a twenty-four hour care facility.
Since it began a year ago, Iowa’s Medicaid privatization has been plagued with trouble for patients and providers. Several health care providers have been forced to close their doors after lower reimbursement rates and delayed payments from the three for-profit companies now managing the state’s Medicaid program. Last summer, the Governor even agreed to pay the private companies an additional $33 million due to them not making enough money.
250,000 Iowans Lose Health Care under Federal GOP Plan
According to the Iowa Hospital Association, up to 250,000 Iowans could lose their health care coverage under a new proposal offered by President Trump and Congressional Republicans to replace the federal Affordable Care Act. The United States House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill later this week.
Continue Reading the Statehouse News
House Approves Bill to Lower Minority Incarceration
Apprenticeship Awards Given to Iowa High Schools
Recreational Trails and Clean Air Attainment Programs Receive Funding
Stroke Data Collection
To read the rest of my Statehouse News go to:http://iowahouse.org/StatehouseNews/3-24-17