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Senator Mathis reports from the Capitol
by Liz Mathis State Senator · March 9th, 2017

Last week was especially busy at the Capitol because the first "funnel" deadline is this Friday. This deadline requires that all bills we want to continue in the legislative process be passed out of a Senate committee and ready for debate on the floor.

I was able to serve on several committees and advance some good bills. Bills that I authored include improving psych bed tracking and another is focusing on creating a supportive housing state-wide task force. Unfortunately, leadership did not want to move a Medicaid/Managed Care bill that Senator Ragan and I co-authored with "fixes" to the current system. We will continue to work this session to improve health care for everyone. Iowans don't leave the vulnerable behind.

Thanks to those who responded to a bill in the House on licensing reform; including social workers and respiratory therapists. The floor manager of the bill, Representative Bobby Kaufman, got so much negative feedback, he stopped the bill. Thank you, Bobby.

Many people voiced their concerns about the licensing reform bill that was strangely close to a reform campaign from Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a conservative special interest group which is funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers. The Iowa GOP also filed "model" bills from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is funded by the Kochs. I will continue to speak out about AFP and ALEC influences in our Iowa legislation. We should be listening to Iowans, not out-of-state billionaires and donors who want to buy seats and policy.

On a final note, I had the opportunity to visit Linn-Mar High School to talk to a group of students doing a project on government and technology and how the two subjects relate in today's world. Specifically, we discussed speed cameras, broadband and related privacy issues. I was also able to talk with a government class about legislative process. Thanks, Linn Mar.

Please attend my listening post on Saturday, March 11, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Ely City Hall, 1570 Rowley St, Ely. As always, you can contact me at
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