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 Statehouse News

Dear %%First Name%%,

Hi everyone back in House District 82!

I just finished my first week in the State House with lots of ceremony and speeches.   After getting sworn into office in front of my colleagues on Monday we heard from Governor Kim Reynolds on Tuesday. While I was happy to hear the Governor speak about many issues, I think we need to address critical issues including skilled job training, water quality, Medicaid privatization and mental health system improvements.
On Wednesday we heard a great speech by Chief Justice Cady on the Condition of the Judiciary.  He spoke about the process of justice, including serving Iowa’s children, specialty courts, and assuring that all Iowan’s receive equal justice.

Thursday, the legislature heard from General Timothy Orr on the condition of the Iowa National Guard.  
I am ready to work together and get back to the basics. That means focusing on good jobs and boosting our skilled workforce, renewing our commitment to public schools and keeping tuition affordable. And also, make health care both more affordable and accessible to all Iowans. It’s our job here to make life better for Iowans and their families, not make it more difficult.

I also attended my first committee meeting.  I am a member of Education, Agriculture, Transportation Committee and Education Budget Subcommittee.  Meeting and getting to know my new colleagues from all over the state is a great experience.  

I am reading your emails and working hard for you.  Everything is a bit overwhelming but I’m excited and humbled to be here representing the great people in our three counties.  

I plan on reporting to you weekly by newsletter and being home on weekends.  I look forward to seeing some of you, in Des Moines at the Capitol, in the coming weeks.

On Monday, January 8, 2018, State Representative Phil Miller had his official first day of the 2018 session of the Iowa Legislature at the State Capitol in Des Moines.  Representative Phil Miller of Jefferson County (right) and Representative John Jacobsen of Pottawattamie County (left) were sworn into office in front of the legislative body. Both were elected in a special election prior to the start of the 2018 session.  

On Tuesday, January 9, 2018 Represenative Phil Miller greeted the University of Northern Iowa Ambassador Megan Miller at the Iowa Board of Regents Reception.

On January 10, 2018 Representatives Phil Miller and Mary Gaskill met with Attorney General Tom Miller at a reception after the Condition of the Judiciary address to the Legislature.  

On January 10, 2018, Representative Phil Miller and his wife Connie chatted with Michael Rempe at the Iowa Juvenile Court Services Association event held at the State Capitol.

News from the Statehouse

2018 Session Gets Underway 

The 2018 Legislative Session opened this week and lawmakers pledged to work together and keep focused on improving lives for Iowa families.  Lawmakers said the Legislature needs to get back to the basics and create good jobs, invest in public schools, and make health care both affordable and accessible. 

Some additional issues lawmakers may be working on this year include improving Iowa’s mental health system, ending Medicaid privatization, making college education affordable, expanding job training opportunities, and improving the quality of Iowa’s water.

2018 Legislative Survey

In an effort to learn about what’s important to Iowans, lawmakers are still requesting Iowans participate in a brief survey. To complete the survey and share your views go to: 

Skilled Workforce Tops Priority List for 2018 Session 

In the first week of session, Governor Reynolds and Iowa lawmakers pledged to work together to grow Iowa’s skilled workforce. Iowans want to improve their skills to land a better paying job and businesses need more skilled workers to be successful.

However, many lawmakers have raised concerns about efforts to fix Iowa’s skilled worker shortage without addressing the state’s anemic investment in public schools.  School leaders have warned lawmakers the state’s investment is not keeping up with rising costs and it limits their ability to train the next generation of Iowa workers.  For seven of the last eight years, the state’s new investment in public schools have been the lowest in Iowa history.  

Lawmakers also expressed concern that the Governor’s budget recommendations released this week would again raise tuition at Iowa community colleges and state universities.  After millions were cut from those higher education institutions last session, the Governor has requested another $7 million cut this year. 

The Legislature will also consider recommendations from the Future Ready Iowa task force, which brought together education and business leaders last year.  However, the Governor plans to invest less money in the new initiative than the cuts she outlined for higher education this year. 

The need is there to allow high school students to earn dual high school and college credit during the summer time, and for a pilot project that would allow at-risk youth in danger of not graduating explore high demand careers.  

The taskforce recommended increased student financial aid through a “Last Dollar Scholar program,” but the Governor has not funded it in her budget.  In addition, Certified Nurses Assistants or CNA’s who work in direct care of the elderly, have proposed to the task force the need for Iowa to develop a database to help employ direct care workers through housing demographics or credentials of the entirety of the direct care workforce.  This was not part of the Governor’s recommendations. 

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events at this time.

More News from the Statehouse

Governor Releases Budget Plans
Retirement Systems in Iowa Remain Strong
Chief Justice Address Focuses on Children
Ice Fishing Safety

Contact Representative Phil Miller

1009 Grand Ave
Iowa House of Representatives
Des Moines, IA 50319
902 S. Suncrest Drive
Fairfield, IA 52556
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