At the Capitol – Week of Feb. 27 – March 3, 2017 Tough Session by Randy Feenstra

Posted March 9, 2017 at 5:29 pm

In early January the legislature cut $118 million out the on-going 2017 budget. It has been noted that this may not be a big enough cut and the legislature may need to cut more this year. The Revenue Estimating Committee meets on March 14, and they will tell the state how much more needs to be cut to keep the state budget balanced.

Being a legislator over 9 years I have now been part of two big budget cuts. As legislators we must learn from history and stop spending on hopes that revenues will be there to fund all these programs.

This does not stop the plan of creating tax reform. Our complicated tax system needs to be changed so Iowa has a more fair and equitable system for both individual and business filers.

Bills that are Moving:

Workers Compensation Modifications – The legislature is working on a bill that will create more clarity on when an employee is hurt on the job and the employer’s responsibility for paying medical costs and wages lost by the employee.

Voter Integrity – This is a bill that works toward validating who is voting in an election by an ID or a signature. I like the bill as it protects our open election process. We just cannot hope that everyone is being honest.

Pro-life Bills – Multiple pro-life bills were worked on this past week. This is the first time in more than 10 years that significant pro-life issues are being debated in the Iowa Senate. Pro-life bills will be debated in the next few weeks in the Senate. It’s all about giving a child a life.

Iowa Boys Athletic TV Contract – Over the last month there has been a lot of discussion of how to get the boys high school sports finals back on TV for all to see. Based on a contract that cannot be changed, the athletic finals will only be seen in areas that have the Comcast network. All parties understand this is not right and fixes are being made for the future. It was great to see all the conversation and engagement on this issue.

Congrats to all the basketball teams that made it to State. It’s been really fun seeing all the fans and teams coming to the Capitol! Northwest Iowa was well represented!

Below I have listed my next scheduled forums:

Friday, March 10 – Orange City, 12:00pm noon – Pizza Ranch

Friday, March 17 – Sheldon, 12:00pm noon – Pizza Ranch

Friday, April 7 – Hawarden, 12:00pm noon – Pizza Ranch

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As your State Senator, I am your voice in Des Moines and encourage your input. Please feel free to contact me at randy.feenstra@legis.iowa.gov. If you would like to read my comments on a daily basis, you may visit my website at www.newgenerationrepublican.com.

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