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In the Statehouse

February 24, 2011
Traer Star-Clipper

By

Dawn

Pettengill

Up Two Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty steep steps in high heels. That's all the exercise I got last week. The rest was hurrying to meetings, so I could sit for an hour, and then the elevator down, of course. I definitely need to add more exercise somehow. Remember "economy of motion"? When I first went to Purdue, I went as an industrial engineering student. Everything was, "How can I do this with the least effort?". Cleaning the house, loading the dishwasher...all done with the least amount of steps. Now I'm trying to add steps on the physical and reduce it on the mental, completely the opposite. Go figure.

We have a couple weeks left before the first funnel. That means all of our bills have to be out of one committee or they are dead for the year. And the ones we have still drafting, we had better have the way paved for them as soon as we get them, or forget it. The committee chairs are pushing us to get the priority bills out of sub-committee and that's the big focus now. The bills I've been assigned are:

State Government - Electrical and Plumbing repeals (These are not going to happen, but I'm getting as much lifted as I can for the smaller shops. Please quit cursing me out on the street about it. I'm trying and it is a heavy lift!), Penalties for the sale of alcohol to minors, Prohibiting bonuses to state employees and Posting state employee benefits on a website.

Commerce - Trusting for Funeral Pre-Need Contracts, State Health Benefit Insurance Exchange and Abortion Funding, Mandate Free Insurance Policy (my bill and I killed it myself), Department of Insurance bill...so far. There are some big ones still to come in this committee.

Ways and Means - Net Capital Gains from sale of equity, Waiving State Income tax on active military duty pay and the coupling with federal tax code is coming this week. Ways and Means is funnel proof and we have a lot to do in this committee still.

Last week in Government Oversight, we heard from the Iowa Prison Industries. It was so interesting to see the statistics on prisoners reoffending if they've been part of the Prison Industries. Nothing we don't know in House District 39 though, hard work pays off and the harder you work, the bigger the payoff.

Administrative Rules Review is moving along. We do not move bills through that committee, but the rules resulting from bills do. And things the departments or boards may want to implement without legislation go through there also. Luckily I am a fast reader and can comprehend it. Hey! In 1968, freshman orientation had a study skills and reading speed and comprehension. Do they do that anymore?

Our biggest debate last week was a 20% income tax cut for all individual filers. That means if you file a IA1040 form, you would pay 20% less in state tax. This bill is to stimulate the economy and hopefully create jobs. There are 1.2 million filers (individuals and families) in that category. Of that 1.2 million, over 100,000 are small businesses and we hope they will be in a position to hire. If all 100,000 small businesses hired just one person, we would have 6,000 people unemployed, instead of 106,000. Even in my tax bracket, I would have enough extra to pay my mow guy for the month. So although, I'm not a business, I can still support someone else's employment.

The Regulatory Reform Hearings we are holding have been a huge success and this weekend, there will be four more. Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Cresco and Cedar Falls. A reminder, there will be no legislative coffees this weekend. Sen. Kapucian and I are both in charge of these hearings and we're working every other weekend to collect this information and bust through the barriers for you.

The work I do for you, I love it. Thank you for trusting me. If you contact me and I don't get back to you, please try again. I am without a secretary during the day and I'm answering emails from my blackberry while on the run. If you have ideas, concerns or questions, I definitely want to hear them. The easiest way to contact me is at dawn.pettengill@legis.state.ia.us

 
 

 

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