First Week of Session

          This week marked the beginning of the 89th General Assembly of the Iowa House. With a new GA comes a fresh start; there are new members, new seats and a whole lot of new ideas to be scrutinized through the legislative process. As many workplaces currently do, the Capitol looks a little different this year. For the time being clerks have been moved off of the House floor in order to social distance. Committee meetings have also been moved to larger meeting spaces and are also being streamed via the legislative website (legis.iowa.gov).

COVID-19 Vaccine Update
       I would like to provided much anticipated information on the roll-out of the vaccine in Jones county. I have received this information from the Jones County Public Health Department. It is planned that Jones County will be administering the vaccine manufactured by Moderna, with exception to long-term care and assisted living facilities who will be receiving the Pzifer vaccine. The Monticello and Anamosa facilities have already received their first dose. Those in the general public that are interested in being vaccinated should fill out the vaccine interest form at (http://tinyurl.com/jones-covid19vaccine). You may also call (319-465-6945) for assistance, though they ask for patience in responding to voicemails. I would encourage anyone that is 75 or older to get their name on the list as soon as possible. Filling out this form will both help the public health department to plan vaccination clinics as well as to notify people as to when they are eligible to receive the vaccine. The vaccine will be administered in 2 doses which will be given >28 days apart.

Condition of the State Address
        This week the Governor delivered her annual Condition of the State address to a joint session of congress where she laid out her legislative priorities for this session. She began her speech by laying out the financial condition of the state. She stated,
“When I stood here last year, our fiscal health was strong. We had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, incomes were going up and our economy was roaring. Then 2020 happened. We took a hit like everyone else, but we didn’t falter long. Because of our conservative budget practices, Iowa’s diverse economy, and the decision to keep 80% of our businesses open, and the tenacity of the Iowa people, Iowa isn’t facing a massive budget shortfall like many states.”
        The Governor spoke on how the pandemic has made it apparent that we need to heavily invest in broadband in our state. She also called on the legislature to get all of Iowa’s children back to in-person learning as soon as possible.
Governor Reynolds also highlighted a bill that I have been working on that will help to fund rural EMS responders. The proposed bill would allow supervisors, cities or EMS districts to apply a property tax, or income tax surcharge, dependent on a 50% voter approval by the general public. The revenue generated by this tax would help fund equipment and training for our first responders. This has been one of my top priorities of the past couple years to help out Iowa’s rural first responders.
        As session begins to pick up speed I look forward to providing the people of District 96 with a weekly legislative update. If you would like to discuss an issue feel free to email me at lee.hein@legis.iowa.gov.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: