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 Statehouse News

Dear %%First Name%%,

Week 12 has come to a finish.  One of the best experiences I have had at the Capitol during this session occurred this week.  On Wednesday a large group of students from Davis County Middle School came to Des Moines.  I had the pleasure of visiting with them at length about our democratic process in state government here in Iowa.  I told them that anyone can present a bill through their state representative or senator at the beginning of a legislative session.  Thousands of bills are prioritized and only a few are assigned to committee chairs by the Speaker of the House.  These bills are then assigned to subcommittee chairs and then open public discussion begins on that particular bill.  To become a law a bill must move through subcommittee then committee and then possibly to the House Chamber for debate.  If it passes, it is then given to the Senate for a similar process and then finally given to the Governor for possible signature.  I told the students this is how our democracy works.  

It is a privilege to represent approximately 33,000 people in the three counties of Jefferson, Davis and Van Buren.  Having the opportunity to be instrumental in teaching others about our government is very rewarding.  I believe education helps build consensus.  If I hadn’t spent my life as a veterinarian, I think I would like to have had the opportunity to teach government and history to middle or high school students.

The end of the session may soon be here.  We still have not addressed the 2019 budget.  The House and Senate leaders still have not decided when and how to pay back the $140 million dollars taken from cash reserves one year ago to help balance last year’s budget.  I hope the majority party is working hard to come up with a plan that is fair to the middle class.  We Iowan’s prioritize good public education, quality health care, good jobs with good benefits and clean air and water for all.  

I am so very honored to serve you.  Stay in touch.

On Wednesday, March 28, 2018 Representative Phil Miller and his wife, Connie, welcomed their grandchildren, Claire, Aiden, Colton, and Annabelle to the Iowa House of Representatives to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

On Wednesday, March 28, 2018 Representative Phil Miller spoke with student visitors from Davis Country Middle School.

News from the Statehouse

Senate Begins Work on New Voucher Plan

The Iowa Senate has begun work on a new bill that would shift hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars from public schools to private schools.

The bill creates a new voucher program that would give $4,000 in state tax dollars for students to use at private schools.  When fully implemented, the total cost of the voucher bill would be over $250 million annually.  

Many lawmakers are opposed to the bill and believe that public money should be used for public schools.  According to a recent Iowa Poll, 65% of Iowans do not want public funds to go to private education.

In Iowa, 92% of students attend public schools and current state funding for public schools is well below the national average.  The state already provides $52 million for students who attend non-public schools.

Senate Study Bill 3206 is currently being considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Budget Cuts Signed into Law; Questions Remain at State House    

As Governor Reynolds signed $35 million of budget cuts in to law this week, it is looking more and more likely that lawmakers will be working overtime to close out the 2018 legislative session.

Since the budget has been in deficit for two years in a row, one of the major hold ups is Republican leaders at the Statehouse trying to balance next year’s state budget while paying back the $144 million in debt they had to borrow last year.

The impact of the latest round of budget cuts will be felt hardest by Iowa’s most vulnerable citizens as well as students at community colleges and state universities.  Lawmakers knew the cuts would be needed since last fall, but waited until the final months of the state’s fiscal year to approve them. If the same timeline is used for crafting the state’s budget for the upcoming year is any indication, Iowans who depend on vital services could be left in limbo in the coming months.

Hard working Iowans who craft a budget every month for their family know and expect lawmakers to use the same principles that they do every month. So far Republican lawmakers have failed to live up to the expectations of Iowans, by running the state’s budget on a credit card and putting corporate tax cuts before everyday Iowans.

Upcoming Events

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

Bill Attempts to Improve School Security
Trade War Could Devastate Iowa’s Ag Economy
Deadliest Flu Season Subsiding in Iowa        
Online Learning Could Be Greatly Expanded        
Urban Trout Stocking Schedule    
Winter Energy Bill Assistance Ends April 1

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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