Tag: Issues

Two new laws will help protect your credit

1. Credit reporting agencies cannot charge fees when you freeze checks on your credit reports 

In the Equifax security breach last year, hackers stole Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and other personal information from 1.1 million Iowans.

Wary of identity theft, many consumers requested a freeze on their credit reports. They then learned that they had to pay a fee to get the freeze and pay again if they wanted to lift the freeze. Iowans have been paying some of the highest freeze-related fees in the nation, according to the state Attorney General.

This year, we banned Equifax, Experian, TransUnion and other credit reporting agencies from charging fees when Iowans freeze checks on their credit reports (SF 2177). Freezing prevents anyone, including an identity thief, from opening a new line of credit in your name. If you need to apply for a credit card, loan or job that requires a background check, you can have the freeze lifted, even temporarily.

 

2. Tougher penalties for criminals who use technology to steal your credit card

We’re also cracking down on illegally using technology to steal payment card information (HF 2199).

Criminals can access your credit and debit cards remotely through your clothes, wallet or purse, or place nearly undetectable “skimming devices” on gas pumps and other card readers that steal your information. Your card information can even be transferred to another card for the thieves to use later.

It is now a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison to use a scanning device to take payment card information without authorization, or to use an encoding machine to transfer information from one card to another. In addition, it will be an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison to possess a scanning device intended to obtain payment card information without authorization.

 

Find helpful tips to avoid credit card fraud and identity theft on the Iowa Attorney General’s website. 

Proposal to close UI Labor Center is “latest gut punch” to Iowa workers

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  July 10, 2018  

 

Senator Joe Bolkcom statement on University of Iowa’s announcement of center closures and furloughs

“I am disappointed in the news about the center closures and furloughs.

“I am deeply disappointed at the proposed closure the UI Labor Center. This proposal is the latest gut punch to Iowa workers and their families. This is a terrible time to even consider closing the UI Labor Center.

“Since 1950, the Labor Center has helped make Iowa a better place to live and do business. It has helped workers and Iowa employers meet the changing workforce needs of the state. As an interdisciplinary educational and research center, it has helped educate students and advance the public’s understanding of work during a time of rapid change.

“It has also has leveraged its state appropriation in securing competitive federal grants for the university.

“While there is no doubt that the University of Iowa is under financial pressure because of the bad budget priorities of Governor Reynolds and the Republican Legislature, I hope that President Harreld will change his mind and reconsider this ill-advised decision that would only worsen Iowa’s efforts to build a strong, modern economy that rewards hard work.”

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Dem Leaders: Labor Center will close because of misplaced GOP priorities

Iowa Legislative News Release
For Immediate Release: July 10, 2018   

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen and House Democratic Leader Mark Smith
on plans to close Labor Center and other centers at University of Iowa because of GOP budget cuts and priorities

“This afternoon, we sent separate letters to (a) Governor Reynolds, Leader Whitver and Speaker Upmeyer and (b) University of Iowa President Harreld and Board of Regent President Richards to object to plans to close the Labor Center and other centers at the University of Iowa.

“We encouraged Republican leaders to contact University officials and the Board of Regents to encourage them to reverse course.

“Our letter stated: ‘This is not the first negative consequence of your fiscal mismanagement and Iowans know it won’t be the last. The budgets you have approved for our three universities have already raised tuition on working families and this decision to close the Labor Center is another attack on Iowa workers.’

“We added: ‘At a time when Iowa’s income growth and job creation efforts have failed to meet expectations, the Labor Center has the potential to provide policymakers with timely information about today’s rapidly changing economic and legal environment, about how best to create and preserve quality jobs, and about how to strengthen workers’ rights.’

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More Medicaid mess: Iowans lose access to dental care

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  June 29, 2018  

Statement from Sen. Joe Bolkcom of Iowa City
on latest evidence that Medicaid privatization is a disaster 

“The Medicaid privatization disaster just got much, much worse with the decision by the University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry to stop taking new adult Medicaid patients starting July 1.

“Oral health is the number one unmet need in Iowa adults. The College of Dentistry has stepped up to meet this need by being the provider of dental care to more than 8,000 adult Medicaid patients.

“The decision by Governor Reynolds and her profit-making, out-of-state MCOs to lower reimbursements, delay payments and create mounds of red tape has made it extremely difficult for dentists and the College of Dentistry to continue to serve patients in need of dental care.

“Governor Reynolds, Senate Republican Leader Jack Whitver and House Speaker Linda Upmeyer need to show leadership by pulling the plug on a privatization effort that has failed Medicaid members, health care providers and taxpayers.”

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Supreme Court decision is good for women’s health care

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release: 
June 29, 2018  

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen

“The decision today by the Iowa Supreme Court is a victory for the constitutional rights of Iowa women.

“It’s a shame that Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans are working overtime to prevent women from accessing health care. That’s wrong. They are politicians, not doctors.

“It’s time for Republicans and Democrats to come together to increase access to health care for more Iowa women, not set up new barriers, hurdles and hoops.”

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Still no answers on Medicaid mess

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  June 18, 2018   

 

A Statement from Senator Pam Jochum

“The presentation by Iowa Medicaid Director Mike Randol last week was an embarrassing disservice to Iowa taxpayers.

“The Reynolds Administration has still not provided any solid evidence that Medicaid privatization is saving Iowa taxpayers one dime. They also failed to address ongoing problems with the quality of service provided to Medicaid members and the failure to provide Iowa health care providers with adequate and timely reimbursements.

“The failure by the Reynolds Administration to come clean with Iowa taxpayers is even more reason for the State Auditor to comply with my request to conduct a comprehensive audit of Medicaid privatization that explains why it isn’t working.”

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