Tag: Quality of life

HWY 20 shows the promise of rural Iowa investments

IOWA SENATE NEWS
October 18, 2018

Statement on the completed expansion of Highway 20 by State Senator Tod Bowman of Maquoketa, current Ranking Member and former Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee

“It’s been decades in the making, but we finally have a four-lane highway across northern Iowa between Dubuque and Sioux City.

“There will be a ribbon cutting in western Iowa for the completion of Highway 20 on Friday. I’ll be teaching in Maquoketa at that time, but I will still be celebrating this important investment in rural Iowa.

“Safe, efficient roads for Iowans, travelers and commerce have been top priorities over my last eight years on the Senate Transportation Committee. We’ve accomplished a lot in that time through bipartisan efforts focused on making Iowa the best place to live, work and do business.

“Expanding Highway 20 already has brought more traffic to the communities it passes through and has helped relieve congestion on I-80 by providing another convenient route across the state for people and freight.

“It will continue to create opportunities for manufacturing, agriculture, services, recreation and tourism—all of which create jobs, boost our economy and improve our quality of life.

“This and other infrastructure investments—like high-speed Internet—are critical to get Iowa’s economy going again, especially in our small towns and rural areas.”

 

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How can we stop the increase in Iowa suicides?

The U.S. has seen a jump in suicides in recent years, with rural states being hardest hit. Iowa’s suicide rate increased more than 35 percent between 1999 and 2016.

Mental illness, economic hardship, relationship problems, substance abuse, poor health and other crises increase a person’s risk of suicide.

September’s National Suicide Prevention Month reminds us that we all can do our part to help. One simple way is by sharing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or SuicidePreventionLifeline.org. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as other prevention and crisis resources.

Even state government and our local communities have a role to play in ending suicide. Senate Democrats will continue to push for policies and strategies that the Centers for Disease Control says reduce the risk of suicide, including:

  • Connecting patients with mental health care, covering mental health services under insurance plans and increasing the number of mental health care providers.
  • Strengthening economic stability by providing unemployment benefits and other temporary assistance, while also stimulating the economy and job growth so that Iowans can get ahead.

Petersen: Medicaid increase is GOP’s ‘gut punch’ to Iowa taxpayers

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen on GOP’s ‘gut punch’ to Iowa taxpayers 

“Iowa families, health care providers and taxpayers received a gut punch today because of the mismanagement of privatized Medicaid by Governor Reynolds, Senate Republicans and House Republicans.

Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen

“Taxpayers are being hurt because they must now pay an additional $342.2 million to out-of-state corporations that are running Medicaid and Iowa’s heath care system into the ground.

“In order to balance the state budget, Governor Reynolds and Republican legislators are unfortunately likely to

  1. Cut and further delay payments to Iowa health care providers that provide critical services to hundreds of thousands of Iowans.
  2. Make health care services even less accessible to Medicaid members.
  3. Take more than $100 million away from education, health care and public safety to cover the additional payments to out-of-state corporations.

“The best option would be for Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans to finally reverse course and join legislative Democrats in supporting a return to a more efficient, publicly managed system.

“We all know for-profit Medicaid has been a disaster for Iowa families and health care providers. Now we know that it is a bigger disaster for the state budget and Iowa taxpayers.”

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