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1 Improving road safety for all Iowans
by Ken Rizer State Representative · Opinions | April 20th, 2017

I've received countless emails, texts and phone calls this session about doing more to make our roads safe. This is in response to a major spike in the number of Iowa traffic fatalities both last year and this year, many of which were related to distracted as well as drunk driving. Two specific bills, requested by and supported by law enforcement, passed recently and will help make Iowa's roads safer for drivers and passengers alike.
   
2 Legislature announces joint budget targets for FY18
by Ken Rizer State Representative · Opinions | April 13th, 2017

This week the House and Senate announced joint targets for the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget. The agreed-upon budget plan spends $7.245 billion, which is about $18 million less than FY17. These numbers are a responsible and cautious approach to spending in recognition that revenue may continue to come in at a lower amount than currently estimated by the Revenue Estimating Conference.
   
3 Funding Mental Health and Disability Services
by Ken Rizer State Representative · Opinions | April 6th, 2017

Iowa's Mental Health and Disability Services redesign created 14 regions with the intent of equalizing services across those regions. Each region is led by a CEO and governed by boards made up of county supervisors from the region's member counties. These regions are responsible for ensuring provision of various "core" services, as well as providing additional "core plus" services. Funding for these services comes from a combination of federal and state sources as well as from property taxes. While counties set their own mental health and disability services property tax levy rates, the majority of regions pool these funds to provide equal access to services for both urban and rural citizens.
   
4 Fighting for increased K-12 funding in FY2017
by Ken Rizer State Representative · Opinions | March 30th, 2017

I ran in both 2014 and 2016 on a platform of making an Iowa education the best in the country. To achieve that goal, I've repeatedly promised my district's four superintendents, their school boards, and my constituents that I'd fight for increased K-12 funding, greater spending flexibility, and increased local decision making. I'm proud to say that we've delivered on all these promises this year.
   
5 Efforts on three reforms begin to come to fruition in Iowa legislature
by Ken Rizer State Representative · Opinions | March 23rd, 2017

Getting House colleagues to agree with various proposals is always a challenge, but I've found that persistence pays off. This week, three issues I've been personally working for years all came to a head and passed significant hurdles. I am proud to announce that my efforts on synthetic drugs, privacy rights, and alcohol reform all passed major milestones en route to becoming law.
 

   
6 New voter ID requirement to help eliminate voter fraud
by Ken Rizer State Representative · News | March 16th, 2017

Iowa is one of the top states in the nation when it comes to elections. The Election Modernization and Integrity Act will make us the best; improving voter satisfaction, confidence, and security while ensuring access.
   
7 Election process to improve through new bill in Iowa
by Ken Rizer State Representative · Opinions | March 9th, 2017

Iowans should have confidence in their elections. Measures should be in place to assure participants that our system is fair, clean, and doesn't disenfranchise eligible voters. The Election Modernization and Verification Act gives Iowans those assurances. House Republicans have been working with Secretary of State Paul Pate on improvements to Iowa's election process. These improvements include: voter verification, streamlining the process to make voting easier, make it harder to cheat, and not turning anyone away from the polls.
   
8 Alcohol reform to increase economic development
by Ken Rizer State Representative · Opinions | March 2nd, 2017

Two years ago I was enjoying a nice dinner, entertainment, and a glass of wine at Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery in nearby Swisher. I knew that Cedar Ridge produced bourbon whiskey on site as well, so I asked for a glass of that. "I'm sorry," said the waitress, "it is against the law for us to serve that here." "How could that be," I asked, "when it's produced right here?" Turns out Iowa's outdated alcohol law had failed to keep up with the rapid growth of not just micro-distilleries, but wineries, microbreweries, and brewpubs as well. Iowa's law failed to provide equity across these different sectors, hurting job growth and economic development.
   
9 Saving money through new collective bargaining bill
by Ken Rizer State Representative · Opinions | February 23rd, 2017

After three days of intense debate, today I was proud to vote for public sector collective bargaining reform. I voted for this bill for one overriding reason: to save Iowa's public schools.
   
10 Vote to increase public education spending
by Ken Rizer State Representative · Opinions | February 16th, 2017

As a new educator and a parent to four public school-educated children, properly funding our schools is a top priority for me. That's why I ran on a platform of increasing public education spending. This week I lived up to that promise, voting to increase K-12 funding by $40 million for next fiscal year. For the first time in a long time, we passed and the Governor signed the school funding bill in the first 30 days of session, giving our schools the surety they need to validate their budgets this spring.
   
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