Blog Archives

Dems: NEW LAWS TAKING EFFECT ON JULY 1

July 1, 2015

The 2015 legislative session ended in early June and now a host of new bills will take effect starting beginning July 1. Topping the list is several new laws that make progress to help working families, create jobs, and protect vulnerable Iowans. Some of the changes taking effect on July 1 include: Protecting Iowans Safe…

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Dems: House Leader Mark Smith: Inside the Iowa House, 6-15-15

June 15, 2015
Dems: House Leader Mark Smith: Inside the Iowa House, 6-15-15

Last week, we ended the 2015 legislative session and returned to our homes and communities.   The question everyone always asks is, “what will this session be known for?” The answer is simple: shortchanging our kids in the school funding crisis that carried on for 477 days. That means larger class sizes and fewer opportunities…

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Dems: End of Session Remarks from House Leader Mark Smith

June 5, 2015
Dems: End of Session Remarks from House Leader Mark Smith

2015 Legislative Session: Closing Day Remarks House Democratic Leader Mark Smith Today, we end the 2015 session of the Iowa General Assembly and return to our homes and to our communities. Last January, I quoted Willa Cather in my opening remarks when she said, “Some things are learned in the calm and some things are…

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Dems: House Leader Mark Smith: Inside the Iowa House, 5-27-15

May 27, 2015
Dems: House Leader Mark Smith: Inside the Iowa House, 5-27-15

The 2015 session is now a month in overtime and things are moving in the wrong direction. Just as thousands of high school seniors celebrate graduation, school leaders are still trying to plan for the upcoming school year now just three months away. Unfortunately, they still don’t know how much money they will receive from…

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Dems: Weekly Bill Tracking May 14-May 20

May 21, 2015

WEEKLY BILL TRACKING Thurs. May 14 – Wed. May 20, 2015 HOUSE DEMOCRATIC RESEARCH STAFF     Agriculture HF 634         Department of Agriculture Code Cleanup. Strikes outdated and unused provisions for code sections pertaining to the Department of Agriculture (Signed; effective 7-1-15)   Appropriations HF 664         K-12 School Supplemental Aid FY 2017. Provides SSA at…

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Dems: Weekly Bill Tracking May 7-May 13

May 14, 2015

WEEKLY BILL TRACKING Thurs. May 7 – Wed. May 13, 2015 HOUSE DEMOCRATIC RESEARCH STAFF     Appropriations HF 648         Medicaid Special Needs Trusts.  Allows for additional distributions from a Medicaid Special Needs Trust.  (passed House 99-0) to Senate Appropriations Committee HF 650         Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure (RIIF) Budget. As amended by the Senate spends $79.9…

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Dems: Keeping Iowa’s Mental Health Institutes Open

May 13, 2015
Dems: Keeping Iowa’s Mental Health Institutes Open

Earlier this year, the Governor started a proposal of closing two of Iowa’s four Mental Health Institutes (MHI) without legislative input or approval. Already, some employees have received termination notices and patients are no longer being accepted at the MHI’s. The Clarinda MHI provides a full range of diagnostic and treatment services through its Acute…

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Dems: Weekly Bill Tracking April 30-May 5

May 7, 2015

WEEKLY BILL TRACKING Thurs. Apr. 30 – Wed. May 6, 2015 HOUSE DEMOCRATIC RESEARCH STAFF     Agriculture HF 583         Effluent from Animal Truck Was Facilities. Tightens regulations on livestock truck washes by moving them into the animal feeding operations code section (signed; effective 7-1-15)   Appropriations HF 637         Transportation Budget.  The transportation budget bill…

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Dems: House Leader Mark Smith: Inside the Iowa House, 5-5-15

May 6, 2015
Dems: House Leader Mark Smith: Inside the Iowa House, 5-5-15

The 2015 session moves in to overtime this week with no end in sight.  The last scheduled day of session was last Friday, May 1st, but there are still a lot of issues to be resolved.   The delay is largely the result of gridlock from House Republicans, who are now at odds with their…

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Dems: House Leader Mark Smith: Inside the Iowa House, 5-5-15

May 6, 2015
Dems: House Leader Mark Smith: Inside the Iowa House, 5-5-15

The 2015 session moves in to overtime this week with no end in sight.  The last scheduled day of session was last Friday, May 1st, but there are still a lot of issues to be resolved.   The delay is largely the result of gridlock from House Republicans, who are now at odds with their…

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