Here’s what to know going into the week at the Iowa legislature.
1.Iowa’s Medicaid is now managed by private companies. Patients have begun navigating the new system as of Friday. The governor claims it will contain costs, but critics says it leaves many patients without services, as IPR’s Sarah Boden reported last week. “Democrats say they will continue to grill Medicaid officials,” says IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell. Program managers are working with the Iowa Attorney General on performance standards.
2.New revenue estimates could delay adjournment. “Hopefully there will be progress on the more than $7 billion state budget,” Russell says. “That’s been slowed down because of new revenue estimates.” The governor and the Senate are having to trim their earlier budget requests. It’s contributing less optimism the legislature can adjourn by its scheduled April 19 adjournment.
3.Water quality legislation still pretty murky. The wheels look to have fallen off of Governor Branstad’s plan to tie a school infrastructure sales tax to water quality projects. Branstad is throwing his support behind a GOP bill advancing that would deal only with cleaning up Iowa drinking water. The main Democratic criticism is that the bill does nothing about pollutants going into the water.
4.The most bipartisan bill signed into law last week was a gun bill. Governor Terry Branstad signed a bill last week at a gun shop in Grinnell to legalize gun suppressors or silencers. The bill had a lot of bipartisan support. Governor Branstad says the bill will grow jobs and help hearing.