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Statehouse News
January 22, 2010
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    The 2010 legislative session is underway and we have a lot of work ahead of us. My priorities this year include balancing the budget, quality education and creating good jobs. I encourage you to contact me with your ideas and suggestions.

    If you have any friends who are not on the list encourage them to subscribe here.

    I look forward to serving you.

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    Legislature Takes Quick Action to Assist Schools

    The House acted quickly in the first week of session to assist education by approving a package of bills to strengthen education for our students and to protect property tax payers.

    Race to the Top
    One piece of the package, already signed by Governor Culver, was necessary in order for Iowa to be eligible for as much as $175 million in federal funds to ensure that Iowa students are prepared to compete in the 21st century. The program is designed to improve student achievement and help to turn around Iowa’s lowest achieving schools. This legislation amended Iowa’s laws in some areas in order to qualify for the funding. The federal government required states, wishing to be considered for funding under the Race to the Top program, to show that a number of initiatives are in place in law when applying. Iowa already has a number of the required components in its law, which made it easier for Iowa to put together an application for the funds.

    If approved for the grant, the funding will be used to help Iowa schools be more innovative in learning programs, work more easily with other school districts to provide programs, and begin turning around Iowa’s lowest achieving schools. Read More


    Supporting Iowa’s Military Families

    In an effort to support military families, the House Veterans Affairs Committee approved a measure this week to provide unemployment insurance benefits for the spouse of military personnel forced to leave their job due to a military reassignment or a spouse called to active duty.

    House Study Bill 538 intends to support middle class military families who need extra assistance while a military family member is away or in transition. The benefits will be paid out of the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund. Read More


    Insurers Must Cover Routine Care for Cancer Trials

    Health insurance companies will be required to pay for routine care of cancer patients in clinical trials if a bill passed by the House Commerce Committee is eventually enacted into law.

    Health insurers say they already cover these costs, but policies differ, disputes happen, and coverage is still denied. This leaves cancer patients confused and fearful that their insurer will drop them if they join a clinical trial. Read More



Contact Todd:
todd.taylor@legis.state.ia.us
1416 A. Avenue NW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52405
319-396-8587 (Home)
515-281-3221 (Capitol)
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