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Town Hall Meeting Provides Insight to Iowa Legislators

April 9, 2019
By Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

by Anesa McGregor

The final town hall meeting was held on Saturday, April 6, in front of a full room of concerned citizens. Representative Megan Jones, Senator Zach Whiting, and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Mike Naig were on-hand to listen to concerns of Palo Alto County residents and to give answers to some of the tough issues.

Senator Whiting began the meeting discussing bills in the length of car carriers to comply with new federal changes, expanding the physcians assistant duties to include more in the scope of their jobs, and protecting the sexual exploitation of minors from people that do not work for a school but work with children, such as coaches, etc.

Article Photos

TOWN HALL MEETINGS have been going on throughout this first session of the Iowa Legislature. On Saturday, April 6, Representative Megan Jones, Senator Zach Whiting, and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig were on hand to discuss important issues with residents of Palo Alto County in the final town hall meeting this session. Issues discussed ranged from mental health to the 2019 flood problem. -- Anesa McGregor photo

Jones talked about what has happened within the House of Representatives mentioning federal block grants and the Future Ready Iowa program.A huge topic Jones discussed was regarding the cut off of negotiations between Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and UnitedHealthCare, one of the private entities supplying insurance to low income Iowans.

"The insurance company wanted more money with less accountability," Jones said. "Governor Reynolds basically said Iowa was not willing to do this and walked away from negotiations. There will be many transitioning to one of the remaining two plans and it will take some time, so if you have any problems contact me and I will do what I can."

Jones also discussed a bill changing the reprocutions of passing a school bus, daylight savings time, and removing the ocial security number requirement on agricultural forms.

Secretary Naig discussed updating the Iowa Code, being better prepared for diseases such as Foot & Mouth, African Swine Flu, the Avian Bird Flu, naming the most prevelant diseases in livestock today.

Naig also touched briefly on staying up-to-date on the 2019 flood event, trade, waters of the US (WOTUS), and renewable fuels.

Something that is currently being worked on is empowering rural Iowa in the areas of housing, broadband, and leadership, all of which will help to bring people to the rural areas of the state.

Naig has also requested that the tax credit for beginning farmers be raised so more people can take advantage of this program and he also informed the group that he could talk about industrial hemp if there were any questions on the subject.



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