Legislative Update: Saturday, February 16

League of Women Legislative Forum – February, 16, 2008 – 10:30 AM

 

Legislatures in attendance:

Representative Forge (D)

Representative Tylor (D)

Senator Hogg (D)

Senator Dvorksky (D)

Representative Olsen (D)

Senator Horn (D)

Representative Staed (D)

Representative Paulsen (R)

Representative Dandekar (D)

Representative Taylor (D)

 

Moderator Amy Reisner from the League of Women:

 

Announces sponsors and thanks.

This forum will re air on Thursday, February 21 in the evening on Channel 18 after the Cedar Rapids City Council Meeting broadcast.

 

I. Opening remarks by Legislatures

 

A. Representative Taylor:

1. “…great crowd…”

2. Working on funding for Judicial branch

3. Before expanding capacities, need to get the funding

4. Investment in community connections and services for post-jail life

B. Representative Dandekar:

1. 3 Bills she is working on

a. School drop out at – moving from 16 years of age to 17 years of age (possible 18)

– “….want children part of the global economy…”

b. Internet Stalking/Harrassment/Bullying Bill

c. Tax credits to Iowa College Undergrads/Graduates students

– $1500 for Undergraduate, $2000 for Graduate Student

– Suggested by the Generation Commission

C. Representative Paulsen

1. Permit county Supervisors from having staff receive more pay without raising pay of supervisors

2. Supportive bill of nuclear power

D. Representative Staed

1. “…good forum…”

2. Vision exams for entering school students

3. Passed some clean up bills to make things more efficiency

4. Sex offenders – Safe Zones around school (regulations)

4. Additional funding for reentering high school dropout students so that they are not disruptive and they get a more positive education

 

E. Senator Horn

1. Wants to pass a $0.01 sales tax state wide

2. Smoking bill – In the house

3. Road use tax fund – Where the money coming from? (Gas tax, fees)

4. $9 million short on community college – Gov. Culver proposed budget

F. Representative Olsen

1. House Bill – 2212: Smoke Free areas statewide

a. “This is a health issue.”

b. Public Places

c. Exemptions: VFW/American legion/Casinos

d. Fight over exempting bars

G. Senator Dvorsky

1. The Appropriations Chairman

2. “…tough budget year…”

3. Theme for this years legislation: “Can’t Always Get What You Want”

H. Senator Hogg

1. This year, focus on fiscal responsibility

2. Public safety initiative (teens, elderly)

3. Teen Drivers Safety Initiative – Death up

a. Need to find moneyless answers/solutions

I. Representative Forge

1. Challenges mental health living

2. Senior living trust fund

3. Health Car Proposal – Covers 25000 not covered by Hawk-I/Medicare

a. 97% Covered

b. 3% not covered

 

II. Smoking Bill Issue

A. Rep. Taylor

1. Must assemble 51% of the vote

2. Would support current bill

3. Done things

4. Bar Exemptions is not necessary

B. Rep. Dandekar

1. Supports current bill

C. Rep. Paulsen

1. Bills goes dramatically beyond restaurants

2. Concerns about provisions

3. ‘No’ to the current bill

4. Questions about exemptions, public band

5. Acknowledges that a bill must ban in restaurants

D. Rep. Staed

1. Would vote against all exemptions

2. Support statewide public ban

E. Sen. Horn

1. Does not want to kill the bill

F. Rep. Olsen

1. Going to vote for his own bill

2. Would rather be 99% happy vs. 0%

3. Bill is constitutional

G. Sen. Dvorksky

1. Get the bill out of the House, to the Senate

H. Sen. Hogg

1. Supports current bill

2. Better off having statewide ban

I. Sen. Forge

1. Anti-tabacco effect

2. Do not ignore local control (need both)

3. State should set the floor

III. Adult Abuse/Elderly Initiative

A. Sen. Hogg

1. Stop abuse of seniors, need $$

2. Need something done statewide

3. Issue of expanding laws (some 25 counties have laws)

4. Law would cover those taken advantage financially

a. Staff/$ is needed to pursue

B. Rep. Forge

1. Last year a lot of new programs introduced

a. Supports what we did last year, first

2. Refilling the Senior Living Trust Fund

a. Maybe to $100 or $200 million

b. Current budget proposals put it to $195 million

c. Would like to see it at $300 million

d. Provides community services

e. Now more nursing homes are caring for more needy patients

 

IV. Supplemental Funding for Juvenile Detention

A. Sen. Dvorsky

1. Has questions regarding supplemental funding

2. What happened last year…

a. Money diverted to group homes (for prevention)

b. Need to figure out right amount of funding

 

V. In-Home Day Care Mandate/Regulations

A. Rep. Forge

1. Licensing all child care/day cares

a. Requires a lot of money, time, staff

2. “…children, precious gifts…”

3. Some day cares inadequate, under-regulated

4. Compulsory Attendance Law (For age 6-16)

a. May expand to 18

b. Do something like this for six and younger

 

B. Sen. Hogg

1. Added resources to child care

 

VI. Sen. Horn

1. Program for elderly to fund dental care

 

VII. Allocating Health Care – The Healthy Family Initiative ($1 Million)

1. All say yes in support of such bill

VIII. Closing Comments

A. Rep. Staed

1. Health kids Bill – children in schools

B. Sen. Hogg

1. Prison population in 1990, 3000

2. Prison population now 8500

3. Need to increase the number of corrections officers b/c they have about the same amount now that they had back in 1990

 

IX. Bottle Bill

B. Rep. Olsen

1. Not sure about it

 

X. Forum wrapped up at 11:37 AM

 

 

 

 

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