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Ragan reflects on end of 2019 legislative session

This news story was published on May 8, 2019.
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Amanda Ragan

The following is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan, representing Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties:

The 2019 legislative session ended Saturday, April 27. This year saw accomplishments and disappointments.

I am pleased to have helped pass initiatives that are good for our economy and for some of our most vulnerable citizens.

We legalized industrial hemp, a low-input, sustainable crop that can be used in thousands of products. This emerging market will create jobs and open up all kinds of economic growth opportunities in farming, processing, trucking, finance and advertising.

We improved our state’s medical cannabis law so that more suffering Iowans can get appropriate treatment and relief from debilitating conditions. We strengthened Iowa’s guardianship and conservatorship laws to better protect vulnerable kids and adults. We created the Iowa CARE Act to ensure seniors get necessary at-home care when discharged from a hospital. And we established a statewide children’s mental health system so that kids in crisis get the help they need as quickly as possible, no matter where they live.

Yet there is so much more we could have done. The Legislature missed opportunities to grow our economy, create jobs, improve wages and benefits, and train more skilled workers.

The Legislature’s investment in education at all levels hasn’t kept up with rising costs. Local schools increasingly can provide only the bare minimum with the funding they receive. Tuition at our colleges and universities will go up again this fall, leaving students with more debt.

The Legislature did nothing to fix the Governor’s privatized Medicaid mess, though Democrats proposed a comprehensive plan to make significant improvements. I am also disappointed that Senate Republicans stopped a bipartisan effort—one that was approved in the House and supported by the Governor—to restore voting rights for felons who have served their time.
Beyond missed opportunities, some of the legislation passed this session is bad for Iowans and the future of our state. I voted “no” on a misguided effort to politicize Iowa’s courts by revamping our highly respected judicial nominating system. I also voted against bills that will hurt Iowa’s growing renewable energy industry and restrict popular energy efficiency programs.
Over the coming months, please stay in touch about the issues that are important to you. I look forward to continuing our work together. You can email me at You can also sign up for my newsletter at

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2 Responses to Ragan reflects on end of 2019 legislative session

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 9, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    How about a hearing protection act for silencer’s. How about a constitutional carry for everyone responsible and of age. We need politicians like Missouri has. Those people want their gun rights despite any federal laws. They wanna repeal the nfa in their state. Very positive forward thinking. What’s wrong with Iowa.

  2. Avatar

    North End Reply Report comment

    May 8, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    Like she responds to someone whom she disagrees with or when she knows she won’t vote how a constituent desires… THANK YOU FOR ADVOCATING.

    Thankfully, this years session is over, so she can’t do any more damage.