Iowa Legislature Public Hearings


Public Hearings and times are as follows:

SF 2117 - A bill for an act relating to public funding and regulatory matters and making, reducing, transferring, and supplementing appropriations for expenditures in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017, and including effective date provisions. (Formerly SSB 3089.)

Sponsored by the Appropriations Committee

Monday, February 19, 2018
11:00 AM (introductions begin)
12:30 PM (conclusion of the hearing)
RM 103, Sup. Ct. Chamber

Comments Received at Public Hearing (Date Published: 02/20/2018)
02-16-2018
Joel Olah [Aging Resources of Central Iowa]
CON
Aging Resources of Central Iowa continues to provide a safety net of support for older adults and their caregivers in our community. Since 1973 we have helped hundreds of thousands of older Iowans remain independent in their homes or the least restrictive setting, preventing premature placement in expensive longterm care facilities and saving tax dollars (Medicaid). The proposed state budget cuts in SF 2117 would translate into a $50,000 reduction to our Material Aid funds which assist local older adults with groceries, medications, durable medical equipment, utilities, rent/deposit assistance, beds, and eye glasses. Often this onetime assistance is critical to allowing these individuals to maintain their independence within our community. This proposed cut would eliminate Material Aid assistance for 200 older adults in our community.It is critical that we provide an effective local safety net of communitybased services for our elders, their caregivers, and disabled adults. On their behalf we ask that you vote against these cuts and support home and communitybased care.
02-16-2018
Shelly Sindt [Elderbridge Agency on Aging]
CON
Re: SF2117If this proposed deappropriation passes, Elderbridge Agency on Aging will have incurred a 15% decrease in State funding from FY16 ($1,854,258) to FY18 ($1,575,792).The $56,106 funding reduction will result in:Emergency meals not provided to 850 people.Box of 5 shelf stable meals per person at $20/boxHomemaker services not provided to 22 people weekly.1 hour weekly cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. for the remainder of the current fiscal yearMaterial aid services not provided to 47 people for an average of $370/person.Rent, utility bills, medications, lift chairs, motel rent for homeless, wheelchair rampsCongregate and HomeDelivered meals waiting listEach meal site will receive a set amount of funding for the FY, determine the number of participants that can be served with the allocated funding, and implement a waiting list for any additional or new participants. Meal sites will have to be closed if additional funding is cut.Any carry over in the reductions or additional cuts to FY19 funding will result in continued and/or additional loss of these services to Iowa seniors. If needed home and communitybased services are not available, the result likely will be a faster need for hospital or nursing facility care with a resulting slide into Medicaid. As cuts to the Department on Aging budget for the current year continue, we at Elderbridge are faced with extremely difficult decisions about reduction to service provision. Our options are identified in the above bullet points. Do our elected officials have a recommendation as to your preference on what services should be eliminated from the constituents that you serve?
02-16-2018
Karl Schilling [Iowa United Professionals/United Electrical Workers]
CON
The budget problems can be mitigated in several ways. Rainy day funds can fill the gap and it necessary to pay it back it can be done on the basis of a full fiscal year rather than four to five months. This would spare many cuts and keep good employees on the job.We could make cuts to corporation tax credits to provide continued public services.This is certainly not a time to cut taxes. It's like when the old time doctors tried to cure people by bleeding them.
02-16-2018
Bryce Smith [K & B Strategies, Small business]
CON
As a lifelong Iowan and at the old age of only 26 years old I find that this bill does a great disservice to all iowans. I am greatly disappointed in this legislative body the governor the Senate and the house for their inability to look towards the future and plan ahead. Im a small business owner Ive owned my small business now for three years. I often times put in over 80 hours a week to make sure my business, my employees and my future is set up for success. I am currently working on budgeting 10 years in advance for my business as I am planning ahead and working towards goals and ideas I have. Every single Iowan watches what pennies come in and what pennies are spent, why cant our government. Now I know things change, numbers have to be adjusted. The golden rule to owning and running a successful business is to always make sure every penny earned us put in the cash register! Because without revenue, you cannot budget or plan for the future. There is no reason why our state should be in the red, ever. When we are, it falls on the shoulders and into the hands of our elected officials who are not doing their job properly. These mid year budget slashed will leave damaging scars all across this state impacting every single Iowan, including me, my family, my small business, my employees and my customers. We must do better, if everyday hard working Iowans can budget more than 6 months in advance, I know our government is capable of doing it too.
02-16-2018
Shelly Silver [Indivisible]
CON
Please stop attempting to fix the state's budget problems. I work in Community Based Corrections. We can't afford more cuts. At best we are doing triage and are really unable to effectively supervise offenders at the level the should be. Surprisingly, we have good outcomes because of the amazing people we have. We do the best we can but year after year, we're expected to do more for less. My daughter is going to ISU and my son will be next year. We're unhappy with the thought of rising tuition. We need to invest more in education, not less! We need mental health and substance abuse treatment programs. If we are proactive instead of reactive, these programs will pay for themselves. If we invest in education, before and after school programs and maybe even pay for secondary education, we'll have a strong work force and fewer kids will end up in our correctional facilities and jails. We have 9 prisons in Iowa. Doesn't that seem like a lot for a state with our declining population? My husband and I have talked about leaving this state as soon as we can. I do not feel valued as a state employee. It's bad enough that you gutted our Collective Bargaining Agreement, these additional cuts are wrong. The real welfare queens are corporations that are given handouts in the form of tax credits and tax breaks. They need to pay their fair share! Lastly, make Marijuana legal and regulate it. We'd have huge revenue and people would stop having their lives ruined for not violent drug offenses. Time to be smart about this. We can do better. We deserve better.
02-17-2018
Anonymous [DOC]
CON
I strongly disagree with the budget cuts! The communities will slowly diminish as there will not be the appropriate resources!!!!!
02-17-2018
Anonymous [none]
CON
Please stop the research tax credit and other tax giveaways to corporations. This money can be better used for education and healthcare needs which are becoming dire, life and death in some patients' cases. Thank you
02-17-2018
Allison Ritchie []
CON
Not ONE of you campaigned nor were elected to do this. These devastating cuts are an attrocious representation of the mismanagement the current and former Governor and your legislative and funding priorities.These reductions, while Mr Kauffman claims to be temporary, will have a lasting impact and ripple across the State.ALL OF YOU have campaigned on job creation and spurring economic growth in our State, but your actions and votes are not holding up to those promises.This shortfall is the very reason we have the rainy day fund which could EASILY cover this 4th round of (temporary?) reductions for the remainder of this fiscal year, and avoid any more costly layoffs and closures.
02-17-2018
Kim Hagemann [Iowa citizen ]
CON
Iowa doesn't have a spending problem. It has a revenue problem. I want to live in a state that appropriately funds it's judicial system, it's higher education, and it's mental health care system for those struggling. It is the quality of life here that matters. I do not want to live in a state where higher education and a judicial system are not valued. Please stop cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthiest among us. Please don't run Iowa into the ground. Most of us don't want to live in a state that is run like Mississippi and Kansas, and with this type of budget that is exactly the direction Iowa is headed.
02-18-2018
Paula Hazlewood [Advance Southwest Iowa Corporation]
CON
The State of Iowa has built an environment where businesses want to locate. We have a favorable operating environment and part of that environment is the performance based incentives that all Iowa economic development organizations use to attract, retain and grow businesses. If Iowa wants to continue to grow in this Global economy then we must have tools that allow us to remain competitive. The way we grow Iowa's economy is by growing our tax base and the only way we can do that is by attracting new businesses to the State and growing our existing businesses. Cutting the budget for the HQJ's program and other economic development incentives will be counter productive and devastating to the State's competitive edge and economy. Please consider not cutting the HQJ's program budget and allow those working on behalf of the State's economy to have the tools necessary to make Iowa an even better place to do business. Thank you.
02-18-2018
Kelly Butts-Elston [Connections Area Agency on Aging]
CON
I write today to oppose SF2117. Deappropriating any amount from the Department on Aging will have a negative impact on the senior citizens that my agency serves.Connections, like the other five Area Agencies on Aging have seen our budget reduced by almost one third due to state cuts and the decision by the managed care organizations to choose not to utilize our proven effective care management services. We've made all of the cuts that we possibly can; we reduced our staff by nearly 40%; we have a waiting list for Meals on Wheels in Sioux City; remaining staff did not see even a marginal cost of living increase last year; and we've asked staff to wear even more hats than usual in an effort to continue to provide needed service to the elderly who reside in Iowa. We have resigned ourselves that there will be further cuts, but we respectfully ask that you make these cuts as minimal as possible. Here is a list of the current reductions, if the minimum deappropriation of $110K is enacted:*Wait list enacted for Meals on Wheels in Sioux City (14 currently on wait list)*Meals on Wheels consumers in Council Bluffs will no longer receive weekend frozen meals (this will impact 18 individuals who currently take weekend meals)*We have reduced Homemaker service by 420 units, impacting 14 senior citizens.*43 individuals will not be receiving emergency response lifeline service.We are hopeful that the legislature will adopt the Governor's cuts or the House's cuts. As a back up plan, we've compiled a listing of 15 senior congregate meal sites that would be under consideration for closure. We simply cannot sustain any further cuts without realizing a negative impact on seniors. We urge the legislature to #ValueAging and #SaveLunchOur senior clients have been busy documenting what their meal service and senior center means to them. We respectfully thank you for all you do, and we know that you are surrounded by many difficult decisions. I thank you for considering our senior citizens. Kelly ButtsElston, CEO Connections AAA
02-19-2018
David Gleiser [Woodbury County - Office of Community & Economic Development]
CON
As a county located in a tristate area, we are in constant competition for economic development with neighboring states (NE & SD) both of which are within a stones throw and have advantages with their state's tax climate. As such, we rely heavily on the High Quality Jobs Program (HQJP) when we are working with companies that are proposing to bring highpaying jobs and make significant capital investments. Since 2012, the HQJP has been instrumental in helping us secure $2.25 billion in economic development projects while creating a minimum of 144 permanent fulltime jobs paying well over $20 per hour. The HQJP provides qualifying projects with tax credits and direct financial assistance while requiring local jurisdictions to have skin in the game. In addition, the HQJP is structured to ensure companies create these highpaying jobs and retain them for a number of years in order for them to receive their full benefits. As such, the HQJP is responsible with taxpayer dollars and should be fully funded. For jurisdictions like Woodbury County, it is an imperative resource that we cannot afford to lose.
02-19-2018
Cindy Litwiller [Iowa Falls Area Development Corporation]
CON
I am against the cutting of $10 million from the High Quality Jobs Program for the remainder of this fiscal year. This is a critical program that needs to remain intact to assist in future business growth and development. Future growth that will positively impact the State's of Iowa's bottom line.