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 Statehouse News

Dear %%First Name%%,

Week number 7 has come to an end.  There have been many votes on the House Floor this week.  Most bills have bipartisan approval.

•    A bill against texting or using a mobile phone while operating a commercial vehicle was passed.  
•    A bill was passed prohibiting pyramid promotional schemes.
•    A bill for permitting employers to provide employees with wage statements by electronic means was also passed.  

I voted yes on all.  Remember these are not new laws until they are also passed by the Senate and then signed by the Governor.
I did vote yes on amendments that would terminate the Medicaid Managed Care Contracts and put Medicaid back into a fee-for-service model.  I voted yes to take the Long-Term Services and Supports population out of privatized Medicaid and back to fee-for-service.  These amendments were voted down by the majority party.

I enjoyed visiting with several of you visiting the Capitol this week.  It is always good to see my friends from back home.  I will be in Fairfield on Friday morning at 8:00am for breakfast at the Riverside Café and I’ll be in Bloomfield from 4pm-5pm Friday afternoon at the sale barn. At this event we will be visiting with cattle producers in Davis County about drought assistance with Congressman Dave Loebsack.  On Saturday, February 24 at 9am I’ll be at the Keosauqua Great Day Café (202 Main St) and 12pm I’ll be at Rancho Centinela (102 South Madison).  I welcome conversation about any of your concerns.  I’m working for you.

Monday was UNI day at the Statehouse! I was pleased to talk to Damen Dixon of Bloomfield. He is a senior at UNI and will graduate this spring in marketing.

On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, Representative Phil Miller welcomed members of the Van Buren County Youth Leadership Council to the Iowa State Capitol.

Howard Hunt, who is a chiropractor in Fairfield was at the Statehouse this week to visit with Representative Phil Miller.

Judy and Rachel Peterson from Sigourney (formerly from Fairfield) here representing National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and
Orian Abrams of Fairfield representing Optimae. Optimae provides health care and human services for those with disabilities and mental illness in 36 Southeastern and Central Iowa counties.

News from the Statehouse

House Holds Public Hearing on Budget Cuts

At the request of House Democrats, the House held a special public hearing on the proposed budget cuts from the Governor and Republican lawmakers.  The public hearing was a chance for lawmakers to hear from the public about how budget cuts would impact everyday Iowans.  Members of the public spoke out from a wide range of topics including cuts to higher education, the courts, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Corrections.

Students from the University of Iowa and Iowa State University said tuition would go up if the budget cuts were approved and it would prevent students from working families from finishing or even starting college.  

Other Iowans warned about longer waiting lists for those struggling with mental illnesses and how the cuts would negatively impact vulnerable Iowans.  The potential for more prison riots and court house closings were also brought up due to the proposed cuts to the Judicial Branch and the Department of Corrections.

Over 35 people signed up to speak at the hearing, with only 8 speaking in favor of the cuts and 100% of the submitted written comments online were against the proposal.

Opioid Legislation Passes House Committee

The opioid crisis has extended to Iowa. In 2015, there were 59 opioid overdose deaths and 163 opioid-related deaths in our state. These numbers rose to 86 overdose deaths and 180 opioid-related deaths in 2016. To help address this national problem, a bill relating to opioid abuse passed the House Human Resources Committee unanimously last week.  

Included in the bill is an expansion of the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), which allows authorized prescribers and pharmacists to view information about their patients’ use of controlled substances.  This is a tool used in determining appropriate prescribing and treatment of patients without fear of contributing to a patient’s abuse of or dependence on addictive drugs or diversion to illegal drugs.

The bill, House File 2377, mandates that prescribing practitioners and first responders also utilize the program.  Practitioners are to use the PMP when they prescribe controlled substances and first responders when they administer opioid antagonists, like naloxone, to patients.

The bill also directs the Board of Pharmacy to issue a report to each prescribing practitioner that has the summary of the practitioner’s history of prescribing controlled substances; a comparison to other practitioner’s prescribing activities, and educational updates. The Board will also identify patients who are at risk for potentially abusing or misusing prescription controlled substances and notify the practitioners of the risk.

Finally, the bill includes Good Samaritan language that provides certain protections to those who seek treatment for a drug-related overdose or a person who is seeking treatment for another person who is experiencing a drug-related overdose. This gives them certain protections against being prosecuted or arrested, with some exceptions.  

The bill now goes to the full House for a vote.

Upcoming Events

February 24-- Keosauqua Legislative Listening Post, 9:00am @Keosauqua Great Day Café, 202 Main St
February 24-- Bloomfield Legislative Listening Post, 12:00 pm @Rancho Centinela, 102 South Madison

March 17--Fairfield Legislative Forum, 7:30am-9:00am, @Best Western, 2200 W Burlington Ave

March 24-- Keosauqua Legislative Listening Post, 9:00am @Keosauqua Great Day Café, 202 Main St
March 24-- Bloomfield Legislative Listening Post, 12:00 pm @Rancho Centinela, 102 South Madison

April 21-- Fairfield Legislative Forum, 7:30am-9:00am, @Best Western, 2200 W Burlington Ave

April 28th-- Keosauqua Legislative Listening Post, 9:00am @Keosauqua Great Day Café, 202 Main St
April 28th-- Bloomfield Legislative Listening Post, 12:00 pm @Rancho Centinela, 102 South Madison

More News from the Statehouse

House Passes a 1-Year Plan to Assist Transportation Costs for Schools
House Moves to Protect Consumers Identity from Skimming Devices
Sports Betting Bill Passes the First Hurdle
Deadline to Comment on Water Quality Standards March 30th
Memorial Day Weekend Campsite Reservations Available Feb. 25th
Summer Food Programs, Partners Needed

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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