We had another productive and successful week at the legislature this week. We are preparing for our first funnel, which means any new legislation for this year needs to be filed in order to potentially move forward.
In my short time here, I have worked with legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, on different issues. I’m hopeful we will be able to move some really good pieces of legislation, that I introduced, forward in this session including:
- Increasing the eligibility criteria for the Disabled Veterans Homestead tax credit.
- Providing additional options to increase dental provider reimbursement for foster children receiving Medicaid.
- Provide flexibility to school districts to help with funding needs and priorities.
I look forward to working on these issues over the next two years, and I will continue to fight to make them happen, as well as other pieces of legislation that I intend to introduce, as long as I am a Representative.
One of the things I am most thankful for is not only the opportunity to serve, but also to work on a bipartisan level to accomplish a lot of really important things for our part of Iowa. On average, about 92 percent of the legislation that is passed in the Iowa House of Representatives is done on a bipartisan level. We don’t agree on everything, and we shouldn’t agree on everything because that means nothing would ever improve. With disagreement comes better, more thought out, well rounded public policy. Even the most passionate people on both sides can come together on ideas and thoughts to help form policy.
We have different perspectives, different backgrounds, we represent different parts of Iowa, and this leads to a lot of different opinions, which help shape good public policy. In the end, I promise to work with everyone to the extent I believe I am doing the right thing for my constituents and as always adhering to both the Iowa Constitution and the Constitution of United States of America.
On February 10th, I voted to advance multiple pieces of legislation to help address Iowa’s child care crisis.
HF 230 – Increases the income threshold for a Child Care Tax Credit from $45,000 to $90,000.
HF 370 – Creates an incentive for employers to provide child care for their employees by providing a tax credit up to $150,000.
HF 260 – Allows individuals providing child care in their homes to take care of 6 or fewer children, an increase from 5 or fewer.
HF 292 – Raises Iowa’s child care rates to the 50th percentile according to the Market Rate Survey.
HF 302– Creates an “off-ramp” from Child Care Assistance program so parents can continue to grow in their career without losing their child care assistance entirely, all at once.
HF 301 – Creates a fund to provide child care workforce grants on a dollar for dollar matching basis from communities. These programs will help move child care providers up the pay scale and the education pathway.
This week, the House Human Resources Committee passed multiple bills to recruit and retain health care providers in Iowa. House Study Bill 168 and House File 270 focus on medical training at the University of Iowa, the state’s only taxpayer funded medical school and hospital. This is a problem across Iowa, but particularly in rural parts of the state, so we are making it a priority to make advances on solving this problem. The committee also passed Senate File 129. This bill was brought forward by the Iowa Medical Society to expand access to the Rural Iowa Primary Care Loan Repayment Program by allowing OB/GYNs to participate in the program, allow for additional part-time practice options for those receiving the loan repayment, and to allow psychiatrists to practice in additional Iowa communities and still receive loan forgiveness.
Rep. Stone 7th District / Forest City