Response to Governor's Condition of the State

Center Focus

Response to Governor's Condition of the State

 

The first week of session was a relatively quiet one, but two key events merit note. First was Gov. Kim Reynolds' Condition of the State address Tuesday. We were particularly heartened to hear her support for a children's mental health system, but had hoped to hear more on other issues important to Iowa families, including how to fix problems in the state's Medicaid program.

Here's what the Iowa Fiscal Partnership, a joint effort of the Center and the Iowa Policy Project, had to say: 

Governor Reynolds' Condition of the State address was upbeat, but exceedingly short on specifics of issues critical to the prosperity of Iowans. In fact, the speech was most noteworthy for issues that it did not address.
Positive notes included a 2.3 percent increase in per-pupil funding for K-12 schools. While still inadequate, especially in the wake of a 1.7 percent average increase over the last nine years, the proposal takes a baby step forward.

The term "dignity" ran throughout the Governor's address and it is an important one — a term that should be carried to many issues left unaddressed. She ignored such critical issues as raising the minimum wage, confronting wage theft with strong enforcement of existing law, and greater access to child care, all of which would reward and promote the dignity of work that she espouses.

Read the full statement here

Also this week the Republican-controlled Senate voted to change long-standing rules of many committees, a worrisome a move away from transparency, accessibility and fulsome debate. One rule change eliminates the 24-hour notice for a subcommittee meeting. Another eliminates the requirement that subcommittees be open to the public. A third changes rules on "germaneness" of amendments, essentially severely limiting the voice of the minority party during committee. A decidedly less upbeat part of the first week, and one that merits ongoing monitoring. 

01/23/2019 2:15 PM |Add a comment
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