Capitol Update: Week 5

Combating Iowa’s Opioid Epidemic

While not as bad as other states, the opioid epidemic has reached Iowa as overdose deaths and people seeking treatment have slowly increased over the last decade. Many Iowa families are struggling with this issue on a daily basis.

During the interim, the Opioid Epidemic Study Committee met and heard testimony from public health and safety officials, health care professionals, and law enforcement about ways to reduce opioid dependence and combat this ever-growing problem. These experts in the field provided legislators with additional steps that could be taken to address opioids in Iowa.

This week, the House announced a plan that builds on past efforts to crack down on doctor shopping, reduce overprescribing, and support those suffering from addiction.  The bill will ensure a state-of-the-art prescription monitoring program, require prescribers to record controlled substance prescriptions, and put limits on highly addictive medications.

Additionally, the bill would make Iowa the 41st state to add a Good Samaritan Law, providing immunity when someone in danger for opioid overdose seeks medical help. There are exceptions for drug dealers and repeat offenders.

The bill is in its early stages but will soon begin moving through committee to address this growing problem in Iowa.

House Bill Could Benefit Monticello Regional Airport

This week I had the opportunity to sit in on a subcommittee for HF2069.  This bill would eliminate the state’s 7% sales tax on aircraft repairs.  HF2069 brings us in line with Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, and Nebraska who do not charge sales tax for airplane repairs.  It’s way more expensive to maintain facilities in Chicago or Minneapolis for example.  For this reason regional air carriers have shown an interest in building facilities; however, our sales tax has made it too expensive.

This bill should create economic growth, new jobs business opportunities for Iowa.  Many Iowa pilots currently fly out of state for repairs and maintenance, but if this bill passes they have options closer to home.

News from District 96

The House passed Supplemental State Aid for schools on Thursday.  We appropriated 32 million new dollars to K12 education in our state.

This week I had the chance to visit with Brian Reckamer, who serves on the Monticello ambulance crew, about issues important to Emergency Medical Services.

I also was able to visit with the Dr. Mick Starcevich, President of Kirkwood, and Kirkwood students about funding for community colleges in Iowa.

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