The third session of Eggs and Issues was held at Smokey Row Coffee Shop in Oskaloosa Saturday morning at 8:30. Legislators Ken Rozenboom from the Iowa Senate, and Guy Vander Linden and Larry Sheets from the Iowa House were once again in attendance to answer questions from Oskaloosa area residents.
As usual, the state legislators started the morning with updates on what is happening with state government.
Senator Rozenboom began with a bit of a controversial topic. He stated that the Senate battled over what to do with Medicaid this past Thursday.
“To bring you up to date, that bill to stop this modernization process did pass the Senate, 29-19 on Thursday. It will go to the House, where the Speaker has essentially declared it dead, so I don’t expect it to move any farther, and even if it did, the Governor would veto it,” stated Senator Rozenboom.
Representative Vander Linden gave an update on spending in the state of Iowa. He said it’s difficult to find adequate funding for all of the functions of government.
“The House has proposed a 2% increase in state supplemental aid to schools. In order to achieve just that 2% increase, every other function of government that we fund is going to take a genuine cut. Not a cut in rate of increase, but an actual cut, meaning they get less money this next year than they got this year,” stated Representative Vander Linden.
He went to on to tell those in attendance who would be cut.
“That means administration and regulation, ag and natural resources, economic development, education beyond K-12, health and human services, justice systems which means public safety, are all going to be cut,” Representative Vander Linden said.
The focus of this session was Medicaid and education funding, but another topic that was brought up was marijuana and cannabis oil.
Representative Vander Linden said there is a cannabis oil bill in the works, but the bill came out Thursday (February 11th), and needs to be on a committee by the next week. He said he dealing with something as complex as a bill on cannabis oil should take time and not be rushed.
The next Eggs and Issues will be held on February 27th, with local leaders speaking about the community wellness and childhood development center, progress with the Oskaloosa branding efforts, and the Caldwell Learning Center.
Story provided by George Henry