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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Statehouse Almanac

Monday, March 27, 2006

Ah spring; the issues bloom

Happy Spring! After a winter of little snow and ice, spring arrived with a minor snowstorm in the capital city. Icy and slushy streets made the downtown commute a real challenge for those of us who live out of the downtown area.

Floor debate continues in the Iowa House of Representatives. Wednesday will find committees meeting in order to take up some of the Senate files which have found their way across the rotunda.

The Veteran's Affairs Committee will be meeting tomorrow with representatives of all of the service organization present at the meeting. It is the goal of this committee to see that every Iowa veteran has access to the benefits he/she is eligible to receive. We want to make certain that the two new service officers are hired as soon as possible, and that they work with the counties to insure that all veterans are being advised as to their benefits, and that application is made for the same.

We passed the Veteran Trust Fund bill on the floor yesterday which allows interest from the fund to be used when it is funded at five million dollars. Prior to this, interest from the fund would not have been available for use until the fund reached fifty million dollars. I successfully added an amendment to this bill which will add the Veteran Trust Fund as one of the options for the income tax check-off. These options change from year to year. Next year two of the options will expire, and we believe that the Veteran Trust Fund will be a very worthwhile selection on the income tax check-off.

There are many groups visiting the Capitol this week. 4-H clubs from across Iowa served an omelet breakfast at the State Historical Building followed by a visit to the Capitol. County officials are in town for their spring meeting and hosted a reception for legislators. Lutheran Social Service advocates brightened the rotunda on a recent day in their blue shirts. As always, it is nice to have folks from home visit the legislature.

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