Category: Syndicated

Senate Democrats respond to Future Ready Iowa Alliance recommendations

For immediate release: October 17, 2017


Statement by State Senator Bill Dotzler,
lead Democrat on the Senate Economic Development Budget,
on today’s Future Ready Iowa Alliance recommendations


“Building on bipartisan work by the Legislature over the past several years, the recommendations released today by the Future Ready Iowa Alliance lay out a plan to enhance the skills of Iowa workers.

“Senate Democrats have focused on initiatives to help Iowans get the right kind of education and training. That’s what they need to qualify for increasingly technical jobs, especially in our small towns and rural areas.

“Iowa business leaders continually tell us that the #1 problem facing our economy is a shortage of skilled workers.

“Unfortunately, the 2017 Republican budget cut many of the very efforts needed to accomplish the Alliance’s goals. If they continue making such cuts, the state of Iowa will continue moving in the wrong direction.

“The Alliance’s work reaffirms that we must put MORE resources toward ensuring Iowans get the education and training they need.

“By boosting our competitiveness in this way, Iowa workers and businesses will grow and prosper. All Iowa will benefit.”


Western Iowa Tech prepares Iowans for skilled jobs that grow economy

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release: October 13, 2017


News Conference: 12:40 PM, Monday, October 16
Advanced Manufacturing Lab, Western Iowa Tech Community College


Members of the Iowa House and Senate will hold a news conference at 12:40 PM on Monday, October 16 in the Advanced Manufacturing Lab at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City.

The event will be held at the conclusion of a campus tour by the legislators.  Participants will include Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids, the Democratic Leader of the Iowa Senate and State Representative Chris Hall.

“The opportunities at Western Iowa Tech are key to building a stronger Iowa economy, one with more higher skilled, higher paying jobs,” said Senator Hogg.  “Iowa’s shortage of skilled workers can be fixed by making Western Iowa Tech’s opportunities more available and more affordable for more Iowans.”

Western Iowa Tech Community College is a publicly supported comprehensive community college serving the Iowa counties of Cherokee, Crawford, Ida, Monona, Plymouth, and Woodbury, which have a combined population of about 180,000.

The visit’s tentative agenda is as follows:

  • A brief overview of college operations and a meeting with students
  • A discussion of the “Gateway to College” program for high school students who are behind on high school credits.  If accepted into the program, students attend Western Iowa Tech without being charged for tuition or books while earning credits toward both a regular high school diploma and a college certificate or degree.
  • A classroom tour that will include police science, culinary, HVAC, auto body repair, Emergency Medical Services, cybercrime investigation, Emergency operations center, and Audio & Video Engineering.
  • A short news conference will take place at the final stop on the tour, the Advanced Manufacturing Lab of the Advanced Sciences Building at approximately 12:40 PM.

Members of the press should park in Lot 3 and then go to Entrance 11, under the sign that says “Advanced Sciences Building.  The lab entrance is straight ahead after you enter Entrance 11.  A photo of Senator Hogg can be found here:


Hart invites public to share ideas for Iowa jobs at town meetings

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release: October 10, 2017


State Senator Rita Hart of Wheatland is organizing town hall meetings on jobs in November.  The events will begin at 7 PM and conclude at 8 PM.

“Our part of Iowa has opportunities for real growth. We need to work together to promote small business development, entrepreneurship, and educational opportunities.  That’s how we will increase the number of higher wage jobs in our community,” said Hart, a farmer and former teacher.

“One of the Legislature’s most important jobs is to invest in long-range economic development that ensures future growth and prosperity across all of Iowa,” said Hart, the former Chair of the Senate Economic Growth Committee. “At the meetings, I’ll be listening for ideas that will help create jobs and grow our local economy.”

The State Senator encouraged people to bring their suggestions.

“This is a discussion and I hope people will arrive with some suggestions,” said Hart. “The best ideas often appear when we get together and listen to each other.”

Senator Hart will be holding multiple meetings about jobs and economic development throughout her Senate district. The dates and locations are:

Date & Time Event Location
Wed 7 PM
DeWitt Town Meeting on Jobs Dewitt Community Center
Thu 7 PM
Lost Nation Town Meeting on Jobs Lost Nation Public Library
Mon 7 PM
Delmar Town Meeting on Jobs Delmar Depot Museum
Wed 7 PM
McCausland Town Meeting on Jobs McCausland Community Center
NOV 14
Tue 7 PM
Clinton Town Meeting on Jobs Clinton Public Library (Iowa)
NOV 15
Wed 7 PM
LeClaire Town Meeting on Jobs Leclaire Library



Mathis named “Hero in the Fight” for better mental health treatment in Iowa

State Senator Liz Mathis

For immediate release: Oct. 6, 2017

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – State Senator Liz Mathis (D-Hiawatha) has been named a Hero in the Fight by the Linn County chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

“Senator Mathis works relentlessly to advocate for our most vulnerable citizens. With Medicaid moving to a managed care system, Senator Mathis has been active in the community, listening to individuals and families about their experiences and making sure no one falls through the cracks. She listens to providers and advocacy groups so that she truly understands how real people are impacted. Her genuine care is evident,” said Kathy Johnson, a member of the board of directors for NAMI Linn County.

The Heroes in the Fight awards are given each year to those who help fight stigma the stigma of mental illness and promote positive changes to ensure all Iowans have access to affordable and effective mental health treatment.

“Iowans struggling with mental illness are some of our most vulnerable citizens, but their needs are often overlooked, or they get lost in our complicated health care system. They deserve someone who will stand up for them, fight for them and not quit until we get the job done,” Mathis said.

Senator Mathis authored legislation with the help of Kent Jackson, director of Behavioral Health for Unity Point, which allows certain patients with schizophrenia to get long-lasting injections of antipsychotic medicine so that they can avoid costly hospital stays and more easily return to their day-to-day life.

She also created a Children’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Workgroup in 2015 that is building a child mental health care system. The workgroup will be presenting legislation in 2018 that will address children experiencing a mental health care crisis. The workgroup also has encouraged pilot projects for new ways of improving child wellbeing.

The Heroes in the Fight awards ceremony took place Thursday at Mercy Hospital’s Hallagan Auditorium in Cedar Rapids. Other local award recipients were:

  • Ben Rogers – Linn County Board of Supervisor
  • Ursula Livermore – Eastern Iowa Health Center Medical Director
  • Diane Brecht – Local Provider of SCL services
  • Brad Neff – Volunteer with Family Support and Family-to-Family classes

NAMI Linn County is the local affiliate of a state and national association dedicated to education, advocacy and support for individuals and families struggling with the impact of a mental illness.


Kinney invites Iowans to share ideas for job creation at Sigourney town meeting

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release: October 4, 2017


State Senator Kevin Kinney of Oxford is organizing a town hall meeting on jobs at the Sigourney Public Library on Monday, October 23.  The event will begin at 6 PM and conclude at 7 PM.

“Rural Iowans need higher wages. Rural businesses need skilled workers and more customers,” said Kinney, a farmer and retired deputy sheriff.  “At the Sigourney Library meeting, I’ll be listening for ideas that will help create jobs and economic prosperity across our state.

The State Senator encouraged people to bring their suggestions.

“This will be a discussion, not a lecture,” said Kinney. “The best ideas often appear when we get together and listen to each other.”


Iowa taxpayers’ money going to pay for GOP misdeeds

Iowa Senate News Release
Senate Democratic Leader Rob Hogg: (515) 281-3901
For Immediate Release:  September 28, 2017


Reaction by Senate Democratic Leader Rob Hogg
to Iowa taxpayers’ money going to pay for GOP misdeeds

“Iowans are rightfully disgusted by the harassment, discrimination, and retaliation against Kirsten Anderson and other legislative staff.

“They are outraged that their tax dollars are going to be used to pay $1.75 million because of the misconduct and mismanagement by Republican Senators.

“When a jury delivered the verdict against Senate Republicans in July, I called on all Senators to work together to fix this problem. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans have ignored the calls for action and Iowa taxpayers are paying the price.”

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