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House Journal: Tuesday, January 11, 2000


Second Calendar Day - Second Session Day

Hall of the House of Representatives
Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday, January 11, 2000

The House met pursuant to adjournment at 8:53 a.m., Speaker
Siegrist in the chair.

Prayer was offered by Reverend Kenneth Krueger pastor of
Emanuel Lutheran Church, Iowa Falls.

The Journal of Monday, January 10, 2000 was approved.


Leave of absence was granted as follows:

Hansen of Pottawattamie on request of Speaker Siegrist.


House Joint Resolution 2001, by Heaton, a joint resolution to
nullify administrative rules of the department of human services
concerning rehabilitative treatment and supportive services for
children and families and providing an effective date.

Read first time and referred to committee on human resources.

House File 2018, by Gipp, a bill for an act directing the
department of education to conduct a feasibility study of
reorganization and sharing incentives for school districts.

Read first time and referred to committee on education.

House File 2019, by Gipp, a bill for an act providing for the
establishment of a safe schools infrastructure block grant program
and making an appropriation.

Read first time and referred to committee on appropriations.

House File 2020, by Grundberg, a bill for an act relating to
physicians serving as trustees on county hospital boards.

Read first time and referred to committee on local government.

House File 2021, by Gipp and Warnstadt, a bill for an act
requiring an examination of ways to encourage state agencies and
school districts to consider the feasibility of joint ventures.

Read first time and referred to committee on education.

House File 2022, by Gipp, a bill for an act relating to collection of
the physical plant and equipment property tax levy in certain urban
renewal areas and providing an applicability date.

Read first time and referred to committee on ways and means.

House File 2023, by Gipp, a bill for an act requiring the director
of the department of natural resources, in conjunction with the
director of the department of education, to publicize the energy bank
program to school districts and encourage participation in the

Read first time and referred to committee on environmental

House File 2024, by Gipp, a bill for an act relating to the
distribution of tax revenues from the local option sales and services
tax for school infrastructure purposes collected in a county and
providing an effective and applicability date provision.

Read first time and referred to committee on ways and means.

House File 2025, by Frevert, a bill for an act relating to providing
assistance to persons with physical disabilities accessing the capitol
and associated buildings and grounds.

Read first time and referred to committee on state government.

House File 2026, by Grundberg, a bill for an act to increase the
jurisdictional amount of small claims court.

Read first time and referred to committee on judiciary.

House File 2027, by Klemme, a bill for an act relating to the
construction or acquisition of infrastructure by rural water districts
by providing for financing and exempting certain debt instruments
from taxation.

Read first time and referred to committee on local government.

House File 2028, by Thomson and Brunkhorst, a bill for an act
relating to the establishment of a contract for the purchase of
internet filter services by the department of education and providing
an effective date.

Read first time and referred to committee on appropriations.

House File 2029, by Gipp, a bill for an act directing the
departments of education, revenue and finance, and management to
conduct a study of funding inequities within the kindergarten
through grade twelve public school system.

Read first time and referred to committee on education.

House File 2030, by Millage, a bill for an act providing for
inheritance by great-grandparents, great-aunts and uncles, and
second cousins of intestate decedents.

Read first time and referred to committee on judiciary.

House File 2031, by Bradley, a bill for an act relating to
limitations on recoverable noneconomic damages in legal actions
arising out of motor vehicle accidents.

Read first time and referred to committee on judiciary.

The House stood at ease at 9:00 a.m., until the fall of the gavel.

The House resumed session at 9:40 a.m., Speaker Siegrist in the


Carroll of Poweshiek moved that a committee of three be appointed
to notify the Senate that the House was ready to receive it in joint

The motion prevailed and the Speaker appointed as such
committee Carroll of Poweshiek, Nelson-Forbes of Marshall and
Reynolds of Van Buren.


Carroll of Poweshiek, chair of the committee appointed to notify
the Senate that the House was ready to receive it in joint convention,
reported that the committee had performed its duty.

The report was accepted and the committee discharged.

The Sergeant-at-Arms announced the arrival of the President of
the Senate, the Secretary of the Senate and the honorable body of the

The President was escorted to the Speaker’s station, the Secretary
to the Chief Clerk’s desk and the members of the Senate were seated
in the House chamber.


In accordance with law and House Concurrent Resolution 101,
duly adopted, the joint convention was called to order at 9:50 a.m,
President Kramer presiding.

Senator Iverson of Wright moved that the roll call be dispensed
with and that the President of the joint convention be authorized to
declare a quorum present.

The motion prevailed.

President Kramer announced a quorum present and the joint
convention duly organized.

Senator Iverson of Wright moved that a committee of six,
consisting of three members from the Senate and three members from
the House of Representatives, be appointed to notify Governor
Thomas J. Vilsack that the joint convention was ready to receive him.

The motion prevailed and the President appointed as such
committee Senators Drake of Muscatine, Rehberg of Buchanan and
Bolkcom of Johnson, on the part of the Senate, and Representatives
Gipp of Winneshiek, Metcalf of Polk and Stevens of Dickinson, on the
part of the House.

Secretary of State, Chester J. Culver; Treasurer of State, Michael
Fitzgerald; Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Patty
Judge; State Auditor, Dick Johnson and Attorney General, Tom
Miller were escorted into the House chamber.

The Supreme Court Justice, the Justices of the Supreme Court, the
Chief Judge and Judges of the Appellate Court were escorted into the
House chamber.

Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson was escorted into the House

Mrs. Christie Vilsack, wife of the Governor was escorted into the
House chamber.

The committee waited upon Governor Thomas J. Vilsack and
escorted him to the Speaker’s station.

President Kramer presented Governor Thomas J. Vilsack who
delivered the following condition of the state and budget message:

Thank you, Madame President, Mr. Speaker, thank you members of the General
Assembly, thank you distinguished guests and ladies and gentlemen.

After a welcome like that from both sides of the aisle, I am tempted to sit down
right now and keep my bipartisan support intact. But I will take a chance and speak
about the state of our great state and its future, taking the risk that you will be as
supportive, generous, and enthusiastic with your applause when I finish.

During the last year, the Lieutenant Governor, the First Lady and I experienced
the heart and soul of this state. We looked at the faces of Iowans struck by devastating
tornadoes, floods and droughts-and we saw determination. We looked into the faces of
Iowans who farm the land, concerned about whether their way of life would continue-

and we saw character. We looked into the faces of Iowans who are coping with the
unexplainable tragedy of children and firefighters who died recently in Keokuk-and we
saw strength. In all those experiences, and many others, we felt the strong bonds of
community. Even in our most challenging times, Iowans’ determination, character,
strength and dedication to community triumph.

In our travels across our great state, we have been struck by the renewed sense of
purpose in the air. It is our collective desire to move ahead. It is a longing for
greatness, so real you can reach out and touch it. All over the state we see a new era
unfolding. As it unfolds, people here, across our nation and around the world recognize
that Iowa is a great place to live, to work and, most importantly, to raise a family.
Iowa’s promise is its quality of life.

After meeting remarkable Iowans everywhere, the Lieutenant Governor, First Lady
and I are convinced that Iowa’s moment to lead is now.

The building we gather in today is an emblem of Iowa’s long-standing belief in
greatness. Those that came before us made a conscious choice not to construct a
pedestrian, ordinary Capitol. They built a shining edifice on a hill, solid and timeless. A
special building for a special people; a special place to write special laws. In the past
decades, this building fell victim to complacency. The plaster cracked, the ornament
crumbled. But our generation of Iowans rejected complacency and erected scaffolding to
repair and replace. Building on a solid foundation, we restore this building to

For our state to reach its fullest potential, we too must build on our strengths with
clear goals in mind. Establishing clear goals begins by an honest assessment of where
we are.

In the past year, the Iowa 2010 Strategic Planning Group has done an admirable
job of outlining where this state is and where it is headed. The group’s work indicates
that without bold action, Iowa risks limited not limitless opportunities.

Our challenge is demographic. We know the statistics all too well. More than half
of our counties had their population peak in the year 1900 -- one hundred years ago.
Our present population grows at a rate one-fourth that of the nation’s. At current
growth rates, we will not return to our 1980 population until the year 2010 -- thirty
years to get back to where we were. Skilled worker shortages reflect the impact of this
stagnant growth.

To make the situation more daunting, our growth sectors involve Iowans no longer
in the workforce. The fastest growing segment of our population today is people over
the age of 100. For the first time in our state’s history, since we began keeping track,
we have more people over the age of 74 than we have five or under.

As we have struggled with these demographic trends, we also have struggled to
increase per capita and family incomes. Iowa ranks at the bottom third of states in per
capita income-a ranking that consistently corresponds with the percentage of our
workforce that holds a college degree. Simply put, these statistics and others point to
three key goals that must be reached to realize Iowa’s promise.

We need more Iowans. We need younger Iowans. We need better paid Iowans.

For the past six months, the Lieutenant Governor and I have challenged our staff
and the departments of state government to focus on these goals and to develop
programs and budget priorities aimed at achieving these goals. We’ve also encouraged
the participation of all Iowans through the 2010 Strategic Planning Council efforts and
two weeks of public hearings on the budget held at locations around the state. Through
this inclusive process, we developed the agenda we outline for you today - an agenda
that seizes our moment to lead - an Iowa quality of life agenda that builds and
improves upon our already good quality of life. We will be better educated and
healthier. We will enjoy cleaner air and water and the benefits of richer soil. We will
experience value-added economic opportunity and feel more secure in our homes,
schools and communities, and we will be served by a responsible, accountable

The budget presented to the general assembly funds these priorities while
recognizing the need to limit general fund spending this year. We take seriously our
collective duty to be fiscally responsible. When revenues in the current year didn’t
increase as expected, we called for budget cuts and spending reductions. As part of our
budget, we have already presented to you a de-appropriations bill. We ask you for quick
and speedy action on the bill. I have appreciated the cooperation exhibited by leaders of
both chambers and both parties as cuts and reductions were identified for
consideration. Let us continue that work together. Working together, I know of no
reason why that bill could not be signed one week from today.

Ordinarily, a budget-cutting year would be a very bad time to present an aggressive
list of new ideas. I can already hear the objections. But our administration has a
different approach. This year, we are going back to the basics - the three r’s.

The three r’s I am talking about are not reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Our three r’s are reduce, reallocate, and redouble. State agencies have identified
$30 million in reductions they are ready to make. They also will reallocate current
dollars to fund priorities by undertaking hard-nosed evaluations of how funds can be
better spent. As for redoubling, state agencies are working smarter than ever to find
other sources of money for our priorities - from federal funds, to private foundations

The budget we are presenting assumes a general fund revenue growth rate of 4.2%
and a general fund expenditure rate of 2.8%. Our budget is balanced, is fiscally
responsible, and calls for no new taxes.

Last year, working together, we made a down payment on better educational
opportunities for Iowa’s students with the class size reduction reading initiative, by
increasing allowable growth and by fully funding the community college formula for
the first time in recent memory. We must continue investing in our children and their
future. We fund an additional $10 million this year for the class size reduction and
reading initiative. We propose fixing the allowable growth rate at 4% for fiscal year
2002 and fund an additional $8.9 million in new resources for the community colleges.
But, that is just a beginning - we pledge to do more.

We pledge to do more because Iowa prides itself on quality schools - from
kindergarten to graduate school. The challenge of a global economy will only be met by

well-educated people. Past success does not justify a lack of action. Declining test
scores warn us of the price of complacency.

To reverse that decline, emphasis must be placed on early childhood education.
Iowa must be the leader, a nationally recognized leader in early childhood education.
Brain research now proves the importance of the first years of life in the learning
process. In Iowa, parents will be their child’s first and best teacher. In Iowa, child care
providers will recognize their important role in the learning process.

Our children are entitled to a great start. We propose increased funding of $5.2
million - through out empowerment communities - to improve early childhood
education and additional resources to provide greater access to quality child care. Let
us pledge together to rewrite the nation’s number one educational goal. Today it reads
that every child should be ready to learn by the time he or she reaches kindergarten.
Tomorrow, let it read that in Iowa, as a result of our efforts, every child shall begin
learning at birth and be ready to learn more by the time he or she reaches

As children enter Iowa schools, they will experience smaller class sizes and well-
wired schools. But, a great education requires more. Poorly paid teachers and
crumbling school buildings undermine our past efforts to improve educational
opportunity. Today, I announce an acceleration and expansion of our efforts to recruit,
educate and retain quality teachers. In the real world, we continue to lose many of our
brightest and our best teachers to other states, who offer incentives or higher pay or to
other professions that do likewise. We can no longer afford to ignore the competition.
Officials at the University of Northern Iowa and many of the private colleges know all
too well how many potentially good teachers we lose each year.

First, I am asking the Council on Continuous Improvement in Education to make
recommendations for revising the manner in which we compensate teachers to enable
Iowa to be competitive for quality and to report to me by the end of this year. Second,
I’m asking you to establish a fund to create an incentive for one or more school districts
to develop and implement a model teacher compensation system. Third, I’m asking you
to approve a tax credit program for three years that will help school districts now,
particularly in rural areas, that are having a difficult time recruiting quality teachers
to their districts to do so. Finally, I am asking you to adopt changes in IPERS,
including the Rule of 85, that will enable teachers interested in retiring to do so. These
retirements will free up resources that must be used to increase teacher compensation.
It is time to get serious about teacher pay.

Our children can not afford to wait any longer for us to act. These steps will enable
us to better compete for talent, but we must not stop there. We must increase funding
for the teacher induction program that will ensure statewide application of a mentoring
program for first-year teachers. Extensive mentoring results in higher teacher
satisfaction, which in turn means better retention of quality teachers. After investing
so much in quality teachers, we can not afford to lose them after only a few years of

Quality teachers with smaller classes and up-to-date technology mean little if
school buildings are unsafe or are in poor condition. Iowa remains one of only ten
states that fails to provide any direct assistance to districts for building maintenance,
repair or construction. Our state ought to provide resources to school districts faced

with serious safety issues and significant building needs. We must recognize that some
districts simply can not do it alone.

Today, we propose using $100,000,000 of our $300,000,000 Major Attractions
Millenium Fund to begin addressing safety issues and other building needs. I support
the need to help our urban communities with major attractions to finance them, but
the major attraction of most communities is and should be a safe, well-maintained

We must also recognize that education in the 21st century will not be confined to a
single geographic location. Learning in this century should take place anytime,
anywhere, for anybody. Children learning at an accelerated rate ought to have the
chance to do so at virtual schools or regional academies created through technology.
We fund the beginning of this accelerated learning initiative. Access to well-organized
educational materials should be only a click away. Iowa should lead in the
development of the technology that delivers such information. We propose a $2 million
appropriation to begin the building the technological infrastructure of this 21st century
learning community. Leadership in education requires nothing less.

Along with safer, better schools, Iowans seeking knowledge will experience an
enriched Iowa through better libraries and literate communities. The First Lady has
been a strong advocate for libraries this past year, visiting libraries large and small.
She intends to visit every library in the state, and is well on her way. We need to
continue funding for the Enrich Iowa program and to increase it. Her Stories 2000
initiative will expand on the theme of literate communities. This initiative underscores
the importance of reading and storytelling early in life and throughout life. It
strengthens family and community identity and helps prepare young people to read.

Would an improved quality of life, centering on providing the best education in the
country make a difference, leading to more Iowans, younger Iowans and better paid
Iowans? Consider the story of Brian and Diane Bergstrom and their family, who moved
to Cedar Rapids from Chicago four years ago.

Brian and Diane grew up in the Swedesburg-Olds area. They both have advanced
degrees. Diane received her Master’s degree from UNI, and Brian graduated from
Harvard Law School, after a Fellowship at Cambridge University in England. They
were living and working in downtown Chicago, and started thinking about where their
first son, Austin, now 5 years old, would go to school. They moved back for a better
education for Austin and his new younger brother, Augie, who was born in Iowa. They
wanted to be closer to their families, including Brian’s parents, Melvin and Vicky, who
also are here today. Education was a key reason this couple moved back. Quality
educational opportunities were Iowa’s promise to the Bergstroms. Welcome back to
Iowa, Brian, Diane, and Austin. Please join me in welcoming back home to Iowa the

Iowa can seize this moment and become a national leader in education. But we also
have an unparalleled opportunity to be a national leader in health care-specifically,
preventative health care. Our tobacco settlement presents us with a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity to do something meaningful and long-lasting. We could, given the tight
general fund, use all of these funds to cave in to the immediate financial pressures and
avoid having to make tough choices, or we could dribble it out in a broad array of tax
cuts, losing forever the opportunity to save health care dollars in the future and make

Iowa a healthier state. How we decide to invest these settlement funds will say much
about our collective desire to improve the health and welfare of Iowans. Let us join
together for a healthier Iowa today, where disease, illness and the after-effects are
properly treated or prevented.

Where the stress and burden of illness and disease experienced by many Iowa
families is relieved. If we invest $55 million of tobacco settlement funds, we receive an
immediate return of $100 million of federal resources. Our investment will also pay for
itself in general funds of health care savings, as we realize millions in savings over
time. More important than dollars and cents are the lives that will be saved. Here is
what we must do:

1. Educate young people not to smoke or convince them to stop smoking
through an aggressive anti-tobacco and enforcement program as
proposed by Attorney General Tom Miller; this will save over a
thousand young lives a year.

2. Help Iowa’s working families provide health insurance for their
children through Hawk-I insurance and expanded Medicaid eligibility;
this will impact tens of thousands of our children.

3. Extend the time of residential substance abuse and mental health
treatments and give those in need of help a real shot at recovery;

4. Expand respite care for over one thousand families coping with the
difficult task of caring for a loved one who is physically or mentally
challenged, including brain injured loved ones;

5. Create better access to primary care through stronger public health
initiatives and from a variety of health care professionals who will be
better compensated for their efforts; and,

6. Respond to the Older Iowan Legislature’s number one legislative goal
by using federal funds in setting a national standard with a high
quality, comprehensive care system for older Iowans needing home
health care, assisted living, or nursing home care. A system that
leads the nation in insuring the maximum level of independence and
quality of life for this most important group of Iowans.

Finally, if we are to lead in health care, we must erase the stigma of mental illness.
Mental illness affects one out of every four Iowa families. A better public/private
partnership must be developed if we are to properly and promptly treat mental illness.
Iowa is the nation’s insurance capital. In that capacity, our state has the unique
responsibility and opportunity to lead - and lead we will when we establish full parity
for mental illness coverages in insurance policies. Parity’s time in Iowa has come.

Will an improved quality of life and Iowa being a national leader in preventative
health care make a difference and lead to more Iowans, younger Iowans and better
paid Iowans?

Let me tell you the story of Yukio Strachan from Des Moines. Yukio came to Drake
University’ School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences from Chicago. After receiving her

Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 1998, she decided to stay. Why? She says a big draw was
a good job with Hy-Vee, and the family atmosphere of the company. Also, she believes
she has more opportunities in pharmacy here, such as conducting regular teaching
seminars at a residence for senior citizens. She expected Iowa to be slower-paced than
Chicago, but has found herself busier than before with activities that range from being
a fitness instructor, to her sorority to her church. Quality of health care opportunities
was Iowa’s promise to Yukio. Welcome home to Iowa, Yukio.

However, being a national leader in education or preventative health care will
mean little if we can not drink the water or breathe the air. Aldo Leopold once said
that "We abuse the land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When
we see the land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love
and respect." We face a severe threat to water quality from the 159 polluted
waterways that crisscross our state. We clean up these waterways by recognizing what
the land and water are to all of us - the essential building blocks of our future - the
essential infrastructure of our state. We must invest in our working land and water.
Our clean water initiative proposes to do just that. For a small investment of state
dollars, we generate over $50 million from the federal government to put in the pockets
of our farm families in the form of incentives for farmer participation in private land
conservation programs. These programs support the establishment of vegetative
buffers, field borders and wetlands, as well as encourage soil conservation practices.

The clean water initiative we propose is a catalyst for positive change and builds on
what we know works. Fully fund the clean water initiative and watch the native
prairie grasses grow and become home to natural habitat that will draw people from all
over the country. Fully fund the clean water initiative and measure the improvement
of our water. Fully fund the clean water initiative and welcome more prosperity back
to rural Iowa. This clean water initiative will establish Iowa as a national leader in
private land conservation.

One other program also must be fully funded to improve Iowa’s environment. Isn’t
it about time to fulfill the promise made to the people of Iowa in the last century, in the
last millennium, shouldn’t we finally fund REAP at $20 million?

Leadership involves accepting the challenge of finding solutions to what appears to
be unsolvable problems. Leadership in land stewardship and the environment
mandates that we resolve the hog lot issue in our state. We propose a reasonable
solution, shared responsibility with integrators and statewide standards based on
sound science with modifications allowed based on a county’s land use plans. We pride
ourselves on our local control of schools and the empowerment of local officials to make
decisions about a broad array of human services. Aren’t local officials as qualified to
help make decisions about their environment? Let’s find a way to give local control to
the siting and location of large livestock facilities.

Will investing in our natural resources by being a national leader in private land
conservation, our parks, our roadsides, and our trails lead to more Iowans, younger
Iowans, and better paid Iowans?

Let me tell you the story of Dave Carr and Mark Chelgren, co-founders of Frog Legs
in Vinton. Dave grew up in Charles City, graduated in aerospace engineering from
Iowa State and did his graduate work in California. He is a cyclist who has ridden in
13 Ragbrais, and Ragbrai lured him and native Californian Mark Chelgren back in

1995. A Ragbrai connection took them to watch a wheelchair rugby match in Colorado.
Why, they wondered, couldn’t wheelchairs have the high-performance features of the
high-tech mountain bikes they rode? An idea was born. By this time, Mark had
followed his heart back to Iowa to marry Janet Comer, that he met on Ragbrai. The
business was begun in their living room. He and Dave created a high-tech shock
absorber for wheelchairs, shaped like a frog’s leg, hence the company name. Dave
Kaufman, a native Iowan living in Las Vegas, moved back to become the director of

Now in their third year of business in Vinton, Iowa, Frog Legs sells worldwide
and has 10 employees. Quality air, water and open spaces was Iowa’s promise to
Dave, Mark and Dave. Welcome home to Iowa.

It can be difficult to know when you are standing at the beginning of a scientific
revolution. When John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry put together the world’s first
digital computer in Ames in 1939, it was doubtful that they knew. Likewise, the
scientists and business people around this state who are entering a golden age of
discovery in agricultural research probably can’t realize the future ramifications of
their work. But as I travel to the biocatasis laboratory in Iowa City, and hear the plans
for the new Plant Sciences Center at Iowa State University, and see the new, leading-
edge companies that use plants and animals for products ranging from fuels, fibers, to
pharmacy products, I can sense that Iowa is uniquely poised to become the epicenter of
a new world food economy.

Are we as a state going to rise to the challenge and become the food capital of the
world? It makes sense for us to do so. We have the infrastructure, the knowledge and
the history of agricultural innovation.

Let us continue our quest to be the world’s food capital for leadership and greatness
in this scientific revolution by increasing funding for the Plant Science Center at Iowa
State University, and by improving the biology program at the University of Iowa and
the biology instruction program at the University of Northern Iowa.

Working with John Pappajohn and our Department of Economic Development, we
have identified the nation’s best practices for venture capital. We present that to you as
well. Let us, working together, create a climate where entrepreneurs can grow their
dreams as easily as we grow our corn and beans.

In doing so, let us create the opportunity to convert the 60% of the raw commodities
grown in our state to value-added products, such as ethanol. Let us, working together,
figure a way to become the nation’s leader in ethanol.

Value-added agriculture, changing commodities to ingredients, is the key to
keeping profits and people in Iowa.

For Iowa to become a national leader in the new economy, rural Iowa must grow
and for rural Iowa to grow it needs high-speed internet access. Today, I call upon all of
Iowa’s private telecommunications companies to meet with me, the Lieutenant
Governor and the state’s technology and communications officials to develop a strategic
plan to make that happen as quickly as possible.

Last year, the Lieutenant Governor convened a group of talented Iowans and
challenged them to provide solutions to skilled workforce shortages. I appreciate her
efforts and the efforts of the 21st Century Workforce Council. Our budget reflects their
work. The council confirmed that Iowa’s skilled workforce shortages derive from our
stagnant population, but pointed out that our full employment statistics are deceiving.
Even with record low unemployment levels across the state, there are Iowa populations
experiencing high rates of unemployment. African-Americans are unemployed at
double-digit rates. People with disabilities are unemployed at double-digit rates.

We propose the creation of an opportunities fund that would provide resources to
remove the barriers existing to full employment for those Iowans.

At the start of the new millennium, let us bring Iowa’s promise to all of its people.

But, there is another group of Iowans that we should pay attention to in our quest
for skilled workers-Iowa’s at-risk students. No child should be allowed to fall through
the cracks by becoming a high-school dropout or failing to develop needed job skills.
Our budget provides $9.8 million for alternative schools funding for at-risk students.
We also propose the expansion of a public-private partnership started last year called
jobs for America’s graduates. This program, currently thriving in 22 other states,
focuses attention and resources on young people who are in the bottom 20 percent of
their class. It has been successful in keeping teenagers in school to graduate, and then
following through for a year after graduation to ensure their continued success at work
or at the next level of education.

There is more to do. We have to complete the good work you did last year in
creating opportunities for enhanced skills for Iowa’s workers at our community
colleges. There needs to be greater flexibility given to the community colleges in
spending the resources provided for infrastructure on equipment. Financial assistance
must be extended to those interested in upgrading their skills. Any individual willing
to work hard enough to obtain new skills and to stay in Iowa and use those skills
should not be shut out by the cost of tuition. The core program, which stands for career
opportunities and resources for education, proposed in this budget will add the
flexibility and financial assistance needed to make a good program even better.

Our skilled worker shortage also can be eased by making Iowa an inviting place for
those coming to America, drawn by its hopes and dreams. Had it not been for
newcomers from other countries, Iowa would have experienced an out-migration of
citizens in the last decade. We must make sure that Iowa lives up to its history of a
welcoming state. Too often, difficulties exist for immigrants coming to our state and for
the communities in which they settle. Many Iowa communities, such as Storm Lake
and West Liberty, are working hard on these challenges. All of Iowa should learn from
their experiences. We propose developing a number of centers for new Iowans, run by
Iowa Workforce Development, to families and communities to seize the opportunity of
diversity. Let freedom’s beacon of inclusion shine brightest here in the heartland. At
the start of the new millenium, let us bring Iowa’s promise to all of its people.

Can improving the quality of life for new immigrants and being a leader in the new
economy lead to more Iowans, younger Iowans, and better paid Iowans?

Let me tell you the story of the West Liberty Elementary School, where half of the
students come from spanish-speaking homes. Many of these children’s parents work at
West Liberty Foods turkey processing plant. Two years ago, the elementary school
began an innovative program, aimed at producing bright, bi-lingual students. Starting
in preschool, students who volunteered for the project were taught in English for half of
the school day and in Spanish for the other half. We have with us today 37 first-grade
students who are in this dual-language program. Their principal, Nancy Gardner, also
is with them, as well as several teachers. Now, these students may be in first grade,
but they already know more than I do regarding languages. Think of what they’ll be
able to do in the world economy when they graduate! Students, I’ve been practicing and
I have a question to ask you. I’ll ask it in Spanish, and you can answer in English.

My question is: En cual estado es mejor vivir y estudiar?
(In what state is it best to live and study?)
Students answer: The state of Iowa!
Muy bien. Muchas gracias! (Very good students. Thank you!)

Quality of value-added economic opportunity is our promise to these students. State
government needs to be more accountable and operated like a business. We’ve started
by initiating a massive and comprehensive effort at regulatory reform. This is just a

An accountable government means a government who knows who the boss really is.
It is not the immediate supervisor, or the department head, the governor or legislative
leader. It’s the people. Government is of, for, and by the people. To reach that goal, we
must reconnect Iowans to their government by making it available 24 hours a day, 7
days a week. Currently, our state’s information technology systems are a patchwork of
computer systems that often are incompatible with each other and not capable of 24/7
service. We need a department with a dedicated, uninterrupted and reliable funding
stream for information technology. Delivering 24/7 service.

For years, we have talked about how uncompetitive our tax system is - how high
our highest tax rate appears to be - how it discourages growth and expansion - how
difficult it makes recruiting top talent from outside the state. Here again, we have a
choice. To play politics as usual and fail to take action or solve this problem once and
for all. An accountable government does what is right for the people, not what is
politically expedient for special interests. Let’s eliminate our high tax rates - let’s
simplify our tax system. Let’s reduce the number of tax brackets. Let’s eliminate
federal deductibility. For those who are skeptical that tax rates will creep right back
up, let’s recognize who the boss really is in our systems - let’s give the people the power
to vote on future tax rate increases.

An accountable government is also built on trust. We establish trust by
guaranteeing that our service is what the customer expects - that is why we propose a
series of money-back guarantees for certain state services such as licenses and permits
to ensure quality and satisfaction.

We also build trust by the process we use to elect public officials. Iowa needs more
campaign disclosure and campaign finance reform. Voters need fuller disclosure. They
ought to be able to find out who is financing any candidate. We should require full
disclosure up to election day of contributions and expenditures. Iowans ought to be
able to find out who is paying for the telephone calls used in a campaign - especially

those annoying push poll calls. We should require a disclaimer at the end of each call,
identifying who is paying for the call.

At some point, the money madness in politics must stop. Campaigns for governor
should not be about money raised, but issues answered. There is a better way. Iowa
should make available public funds, not from tax revenues, but from earned interest, to
candidates for governor who voluntarily agree to limit their spending and who have
broad based support. Our agenda is about government of, by, and for the people - not
government of, by, and for thousands, tens of thousands or millions of dollars in
contributions. Better disclosure, public financing, limited spending of governors races
and term limits for governors puts the people back in charge.

Will quality of life delivered through a more accountable government lead to more
Iowans, younger Iowans and better paid Iowans?

Let me tell you the story of Bruce Banister of Jefferson, who sells classical guitars
through the internet. He’s open 24 hours a day, and epitomizes the new way to be
responsive to customers. Bruce grew up in Jefferson, and spent years in Spain studying
classical guitar. He later went to Germany, where he taught and performed. He began
buying and selling finely-made classical guitars to an esoteric group of buyers
worldwide. He met and married photographer Carola Wicenti there, and she agreed to
move back to Iowa in the summer of 1998. Bruce realized that his website-based
business could be headquartered anywhere. If you want to find him, just type in
classical He says he moved back for Iowa’s open spaces, slower-paced
life, and to be close to family. Quality government is Iowa’s promise to Bruce and
Carola. Welcome back to Iowa.

The last part of the quality of life agenda I’ll mention today is perhaps the most
basic. It doesn’t do any good to improve education, clean up the environment, prevent
disease, and create a larger and smarter workforce if our communities aren’t safe. Safe
communities are one of Iowa’s basic strengths. To ensure our safe communities, we
must reduce the supply and demand for illegal drugs. I remain committed to a plan we
worked on last year to fight the methamphetamine epidemic by adding six new
narcotics agents to the Department of Public Safety this year. These agents will make
inroads in our war against methamphetamine and other drugs.

We also propose increasing the staff for our state criminal laboratory to aid our
prosecutors in investigations leading to convictions. Another tool in our effort should
be the expansion of drug courts. Drug courts aimed at lower-risk substance abusers
have shown to be successful in lowering the rate of recidivism among its graduates. We
must increase our commitment to community-based corrections as an alternative to
prison for low-risk drug addicts, holding them accountable for their offense and
providing necessary treatment, we need to keep prison beds for more dangerous

We need to avoid losing Iowans, particularly young Iowans, to untimely deaths. It is
tragic that children are being killed in firearm accidents. New educational programs
for gun owners will prevent children’s access to firearms. Our sheriffs and the
Department of Public Safety will be working together on this effort. We also need to
ensure that if handguns do get into the hands of children they not lead to accidental
deaths. Handguns sold by dealers in Iowa, in the future, should be required to have

safety locks. We have no hesitation requiring safety caps on aspirin bottles - why not
safety locks on handguns?

Will safe communities and a focus on worthwhile programs for children lead to
more Iowans, younger Iowans, and better paid Iowans?

Let me tell you the story of Deirdre Cleary and her husband Marcos, who moved to
Des Moines six months ago from New York City. Deirdre’s Iowa connection was from
middle school. She attended middle school in Nevada, and then moved to California.
She’s lived in New York City the past 13 years, although her grandparents still live
near Iowa Falls. Last summer, she came to the reception for former Iowans which the
Human Resource Consortium, the Department of Economic Development and our office
held in New York City. This was the event that we thought would draw perhaps 200
former Iowans. More than 800 showed up. When Dierdre attended the reception and
talked with state officials, she decided to come home. She and her husband Marcos
had been wanting to own a house in a good neighborhood where they could have one
thing: a safe back yard. They wanted that back yard for their two sons, Kristofer, age 7
and Jacob, age 15 months. They moved in August. Dierdre found a job in her field,
social work, at Mainstream Living, as a Supported Living Coordinator for persons with
mental disabilities. Marcos, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, also found a job
quickly. They are renting a home, and hope to purchase their own home - with a back
yard - soon.

Quality of safe homes, schools and communities is Iowa’s promise to Deirdre and
her family. Welcome back to Iowa, Deirdre. And welcome home to Iowa, Kristofer.

During this past year, I have been energized by meeting with young Iowans and
seeing their hope and enthusiasm for the future. More than we realize, they do listen to
us and watch what we do. As I visited schools across our state, I said the Pledge of
Allegiance more than once.

Now you know that when you say the pledge, you do a few things. You stand a little
straighter and a little taller. You place your hand over your heart -- a symbol that you
are repeating those words in all honesty. And you look at the American flag.

The words of the pledge stay with you a lifetime, particularly the last phrase, which
is perhaps its most powerful and visionary. When our forefathers wrote "with liberty
and justice for all," it was our collective guarantee of safety. They did not write:

"With liberty and justice for all those who share my religious beliefs."

They did not write: "with liberty and justice for all those who share
my skin color."

They did not write: "with liberty and justice for all those who speak
the same language I do."

They did not write: "with liberty and justice for all those who live as I

They wrote: "with liberty and justice for all."

We teach the Pledge of Allegiance to all our children. They are justified in asking us
if we believe, if we truly believe and live the words we have them memorize.

Do we really believe in liberty and justice for all? I believe in our heart of hearts we
do. I believe Iowa can lead the nation in delivering on this guarantee.

I’d like to invite you here this morning to stand with me, placing our hands over our
hearts, and repeating the words that our country was founded on. Let us stand a little
taller and a little straighter, and think about these simple words that should guide our
lives - particularly that last phrase.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the Republic
for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Over the last two hundred plus years, Americans have fought and died to uphold
that vision of liberty and justice for all. We owe a debt of gratitude to those veterans
which is why we propose fully funding Iowa’s share of the World War II memorial.

Please remain standing as I close. We have now said the Pledge of Allegiance. It
will be a sign of our individual and our collective integrity, whether we live by those
words and act by them when we take action in this chamber, in the Senate Chamber
and in the Governor’s office. It will be a sign of our collective leadership that we
improve our quality of life and realize Iowa’s promise.

As we make our communities safer, our schools better our health care more
accessible, or environment cleaner, our crops and workers more valuable and our
government more accountable, people will come. As we build on our strengths of fertile
soil and fertile minds, people will come. As Ray Kinsella was told in the movie "Field of
Dreams" about our fields of opportunities: "People will come." They will come to Iowa
for reasons they can’t even fathom. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most
definitely come."

May your God, my God, and our God bless this great state and its people.

Thank you.

Governor Thomas J. Vilsack was escorted from the House chamber
by the committee previously appointed.

On motion by Rants of Woodbury, the joint convention was
dissolved at 11:15 a.m.

The House stood at ease at 11:16 a.m., until the fall of the gavel.

The House resumed session at 11:31 a.m., Speaker pro tempore
Sukup in the chair.


MR. SPEAKER: The Chief Clerk of the House respectfully reports
that certificates of recognition have been issued as follows.

Chief Clerk of the House

2000\22 Joseph Eugene "Jes" Slater, Winterset - For attaining the rank of Eagle
Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America.

2000\23 Jessie Kettering, Lake View - For celebrating her 112th birthday.

2000\24 Mr. and Mrs. James Burkle, Earlville - For celebrating their 50th wedding

2000\25 Jeanne and Francis Cox, Manchester - For celebrating their 50th wedding

2000\26 Laura and George Goldsmith, Earlville - For celebrating their 60th wedding

2000\27 Noami Stufflebeam, Ottumwa - For celebrating her 88th birthday.

2000\28 Alice Bown, Winterset - For celebrating her 90th birthday.

2000\29 Marge Martin, Winterset - For celebrating her 97th birthday.

2000\30 Emogene Merrill, Guthrie Center - For celebrating her 90th birthday.

2000\31 Lloyd Wine, Panora - For celebrating his 90th birthday.

2000\32 Edith and Ival Mease, St. Charles - For celebrating their 60th wedding

2000\33 Paul and Eleanor (Delp) Little, Panora - For celebrating their 50th wedding

2000\34 Wanda and Larry White, Truro - For celebrating their 50th wedding

2000\35 Marie and Don Lents, Fontanelle - For celebrating their 50th wedding

2000\36 Lila and Roy Bilbrey, Panora - For celebrating their 50th wedding

2000\37 Marie and Louise Stepanek, Ely - For celebrating their 50th wedding

2000\38 Ankeny High School Debate Team, Ankeny - For winning 1st place in the
state competition.


House File 2002

State Government: Arnold, Chair; Chiodo and Jager.

House File 2004

Transportation: Jager, Chair; Heaton and Warnstadt.

House File 2007

State Government: Martin, Chair; Connors, Gipp, Holmes and Larkin.

House File 2015

State Government: Jacobs, Chair; Arnold, Cataldo, Davis, Holmes, Jochum and

House File 2017

Transportation: Jager, Chair; Heaton and Warnstadt.

House File 2025

State Government: Gipp, Chair; Arnold and Connors.


House Study Bill 500

Appropriations: Millage, Chair; Cormack, Dix, Murphy and Warnstadt.

House Study Bill 501

Appropriations: Millage, Chair; Bell and Garman.


H.S.B. 502 State Government

Relating to contracts and agreements entered into by the Iowa lottery
board and commissioner of the lottery.

H.S.B. 503 State Government

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Iowa
relating to the qualification of electors.

H.S.B. 504 Judiciary

Relating to certain procedures for substance abuse commitments.

H.S.B. 505 Judiciary

Regarding application of the margin of error for chemical test
evidence used in operating while intoxicated prosecutions.

H.S.B. 506 Judiciary

Relating to the statute of limitations for theft of firearms.

H.S.B. 507 Judiciary

Relating to sexually predatory offenses and providing an effective

On motion by Rants of Woodbury the House adjourned at 11:32
a.m., until 8:45 a.m., Wednesday, January 12, 2000.

Previous Day: Monday, January 10Next Day: Wednesday, January 12
Senate Journal: Index House Journal: Index
Legislation: Index Bill History: Index

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