Posts Tagged ‘ 2017 Session Information ’

Dems: Iowa Cracks Down on Distracted Driving

May 17, 2017

Iowa has joined the majority of other states in the country that have stricter laws for drivers who text and drive. Previously, Iowans could not be pulled over for only texting while driving, unless they committed another offense for the purpose of the stop. Iowa was one 1 of 5 states in the country that…

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Dems: Homeowners Affected Under New CAFO Law

May 11, 2017

Iowa homeowners whose quality of life or property values have been impacted by confined feeding operations (CAFOS) may now have even fewer options. Under a bill approved by the Republican-led Legislature, if a CAFO moves next to your property and ruins the value and enjoyment of your land, damages are now capped and no further…

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Dems: Changes to Alcohol Policy Could Spur Economic Development

May 9, 2017

The Legislature has approved sweeping changes to Iowa’s alcohol policy intended to encourage economic development and tourism across the state. Some of the main changes will allow for breweries to now sell wine by the glass and small native distillers to sell by the glass to patrons at the distillery, which they could previously not…

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Dems: GOP Turns Budget Surplus to Deficit

May 5, 2017

Lawmakers closed the 2017 legislative session putting the finishing touches on the fiscal year 2018 budget as well as addressing a $131 million state budget deficit in fiscal year 2017. While the state had a $900 million surplus just a few years ago, the deficit was the result of years of mismanagement of the state…

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Dems: Inside the Iowa House: 2017 Session Ends

May 1, 2017

Democrats opened the 2017 Iowa Legislature ready to work together with the Republican-led majority to make progress for all Iowans again.  But Republicans chose a different path this session. And Iowans noticed. Instead of working with us, Republicans chose to pursue a divisive, special interest agenda that Iowans expect to see in Washington, DC, but…

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Dems: Bill Lowers Wages for 65,000 Iowans

May 1, 2017

Instead of raising wages, Republican lawmakers approved a bill this year to lower wages for 65,000 Iowans. After waiting for Iowa lawmakers to act for nearly a decade, four Iowa counties recently increased the minimum wage in their own communities to finally give a boost to the lowest wage earners. The bill, House File 295,…

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Dems: Insurance Autism Coverage Approved

April 27, 2017

There are limited resources for coverage of autism services for minors provided by the State of Iowa. The Autism Support Program provides payments for applied behavioral analysis treatment for autism spectrum disorder. However, the Program has strict age, income, duration, and maximum amount of coverage limitations. After years of work, the Iowa Legislature finally approved…

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Dems: 2017 Legislative Session Ends with Disappointment for Working Iowans

April 25, 2017

Iowa lawmakers wrapped up the 2017 legislative session early Saturday morning on April 22nd, with many concerns ignored to help create jobs and raise incomes for hard-working families. The 2017 session opened with a plan to strengthen Iowa’s working families, build a vibrant economy, and adequately fund schools. Unfortunately, the majority party, despite objection, shortchanged…

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Dems: 2017 Iowa Legislature: Closing Remarks

April 22, 2017

2017 Iowa Legislature: Closing Remarks By House Democratic Leader Mark Smith (D-Marshalltown) Thank you Madam Speaker. First, I want to thank the members of my caucus for sticking together this year and being a strong voice for the thousands of Iowans we represent. On behalf of my caucus, I also want to thank the House…

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Dems: Weekly Bill Tracking, Thurs. Apr. 6 – Wed. Apr. 12, 2017

April 13, 2017

WEEKLY BILL TRACKING Thurs. Apr. 6 – Wed. Apr. 12, 2017 HOUSE DEMOCRATIC RESEARCH STAFF Appropriations HF 438         Housing Assistance from Veterans Trust Fund. States that money from the Veterans Trust Fund can be used for housing assistance including: deposits needed to rent, application fees associated with renting, and money needed to obtain vital documents…

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