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Steckman, Ragan hold public forum Saturday morning; cover a range of issues

Representative Sharon Steckman and Senator Amanda Ragan met the public in an open forum Saturday morning in Mason City at the Mason City Library. A range of issues were covered, including health care, education cuts and high speed rail.|Representative Sharon Steckman and Senator Amanda Ragan met the public in an open forum Saturday morning in Mason City at the Mason City Library.

The meeting was held in the Mason City room to better accommodate the audience.

The legislators stood in front of about 40 people and took questions for about 90 minutes.

Ragan explained how the Senate was working with preschool funding cuts in the budget it received from the House, and then gave a brief run-down of other happenings in the Senate.

Steckman then explained that the House is also busy dealing with DHS layoffs and the closing of Workforce Development Centers across Iowa that Governor Branstad has proposed. She says those in favor of the cuts are advocating for volunteers to take over some of that work.

Topics also covered included:

– Tax cuts for some Iowans, and what services we would lose due to the decreased state revenue
– High speed rail from Iowa City to Chicago, and a railroad depot in Manly, and how that would benefit Iowa. It was said that the moving of goods versus the moving of people would bring more revenue to the state.
– Steckman and Ragan were asked about their opinion on the multi-purpose center that is being proposed as a new project in Mason City as part of a downtown development plan. Neither would comment on it, as it does not involve state funds and is a local project.
– There was a lot of discussion on head start versus preschool; which is more beneficial to children and funding for both.
– There was some discussion over the development that could happen in Worth County near the Diamond Jo Casino.
– Health care and insurance were touched upon.

Watch video of some of the meeting:




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