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Rep. Prichard grateful no one was hurt in weekend tornado in Floyd county

This news story was published on May 29, 2019.
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Rep. Todd Prichard

The following is a legislative update from Rep. Todd Prichard of Charles City for District 52, which includes the counties of Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, and Floyd:

I want to start out by expressing how grateful I am that no one was seriously hurt in this weekend’s tornado. If you or anyone you know is in need of help please reach out to the emergency management operations center at 641-257-6144 or feel free to give me a call at 641-228-6070.

Planting has been a real headache for farmers this spring. My family had to wait until it was warm enough to plant corn and just finished a couple weeks ago. Now we are trying to find the window of time when the fields are dry enough to plant soybeans. Some sunshine would help. Farming, it seems to me, has always been a matter of timing. You can’t miss your opportunities to get work done.

In some ways, legislating is a lot like farming, but instead of watching to weather, you have to make the most of what the legislative calendar provides. It seems to me we missed a lot of chances to get things done for the state this year. For me, two of the biggest priorities for the legislature are ensuring accessible and affordable health care and building an education system that is the best in the nation. We missed opportunities on both fronts.

We did make some progress in education by increasing transportation money and restoring some funding for public education. However, we have a long ways to go. Unfortunately, Iowa’s education system does not enjoy the same status nationally as it has in the past. This trend needs to reverse. The problem is that education and job-training budgets have been cut to allow for tax cuts. We should do better for our children.

Iowa’s mental health and health care system continues to be in crisis. This legislative session should not have ended without passing comprehensive legislation that address the Medicaid fiasco that has had such a negative impact on rural communities. All 46 Democrats that I lead signed onto a bill that would restore oversight for long term care patients, but our votes were not enough.

I suppose there is always next year to take up these issues. The problem is that kicking the can down the road does nothing to address problems people and communities face today. Unfortunately, by not addressing the issues of education and health care, the legislature missed an opportunity.

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