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The Capitol Report by Sen. Taylor

Apr 25, 2014

This is a legislative update from Sen. Rich Taylor, representing Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties

A core Iowa value is taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves.

That’s why the Iowa Senate voted Monday April 21 for a Health & Human Services Budget that will improve the safety and quality of life for Iowa seniors, children and others who look to us for help.

House File 2463, as amended by the Senate, reverses Gov. Branstad’s veto last year that stopped the hiring of two ombudsmen to protect the rights of seniors in nursing facilities. Iowa currently has only half the number of long-term care ombudsmen recommended in national best-practice standards.

Our Health & Human Services Budget also provides state funding for local elder abuse support services for the first time. In addition, it will be easier for seniors to get the services needed to continue living in their own homes, rather than moving to expensive nursing facilities.

Every Iowan will benefit from a boost in funding to emergency medical service providers. HF 2463 provides additional money for EMS training and an increase in the amount the state pays through the Medicaid program for local ambulance and other emergency services. Iowa’s rates are among the lowest in the country and significantly below those paid by private health insurance. Some Iowa communities will be in danger of losing EMS services if providers are unable to recoup their costs.

The Senate’s Health & Human Services Budget also helps children and at-risk Iowans by:

• Expanding childcare assistance to more parents who are working part-time while getting professional training or continuing education.

• Improving the lives of children and adults by increasing at-home access to specialized health and support services.

• Reestablishing a State Training School at Toledo to provide necessary help and care for Iowa’s most troubled young girls.

• Protecting Iowa’s redesigned mental health services by fully funding state commitments.

The House and Senate have begun meeting to discuss differences in our proposals and negotiate a final Health & Human Services Budget that will best help those in need.

For more information, visit www.senate.iowa.gov/senator/taylor.

To contact Taylor during session, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at home at 319-931-1568. E-mail him at rich.taylor@legis.iowa.gov.

Taylor is vice-chair of the Agriculture Committee. He also serves on the Economic Growth, Judiciary, Local Government and Transportation committees, as well as the Justice Systems Budget Subcommittee.




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