Posts Tagged ‘winter driving’
As 2012 comes to an end, I want to thank everyone who shared their concerns, ideas and hopes with me. You’ve made a positive difference by helping to shape Iowa’s future.
We have many reasons to look forward to 2013. Iowa’s economy is growing. To build a lasting recovery, I’ll keep speaking up for Iowa’s middle-class families and Main Street businesses. When the Legislature convenes in January, my focus will be strengthening our state’s economy and building the strongest job training system in the United States.
Much of that work happens in committees. In the Senate, I will chair the Justice Systems Budget and serve as vice-chair of the Judiciary Committee. I will also be a member of the Appropriations, Rules & Administration and State Government committees.
By participating on these committees, I will serve as voice and advocate for my 66,000 constituents in Des Moines, Louisa and Muscatine counties.
The 85th General Assembly of the Iowa Legislature will convene on Monday, January 14. I’m getting ready for the session by meeting with and listening to as many people as I can. If you have ideas and concerns, please share them with me.
Thanks again to all who take an active part in making our state a better place to live, work and raise a family.
REDUCING HEALTH CARE WORRIES IN 2013
Should Iowa expand health care services to seniors in nursing homes? To the disabled? To children? Should health care be more affordable for all working families? How can we reduce the cost of charity care at our local hospitals and slow the increase in health care costs?
These are some of the questions policymakers face as we consider whether to expand Medicaid.
All Iowa parents deserve the peace of mind that comes from knowing an accident or medical emergency won’t bankrupt their family. And bringing more people into the health care system will save money by cutting the cost of charity care that drives up everyone’s health care bills.
Expanding Medicaid is a smart thing to do. I think it makes sense for Iowa to invest $1 in state funds in order to receive more than $9 in federal money for health care here in Iowa. If we don’t make this investment, Iowa’s federal tax dollars simply go to help solve health care problems in other states.
Every Iowa hospital supports this investment. Hospitals have to treat people whether they have insurance or not. This is an ineffective, costly way to provide health care services. This “charity” care is never free. The cost gets passed on to everyone with insurance in the form of more expensive health care.
Given the strong, across-the-board support of Iowa’s medical community, this is an opportunity for all legislators to work together for Iowa families and businesses in 2013.
NEWS YOU CAN USE
5 travel tips for this holiday season
With a busy holiday travel weekend approaching, the Iowa Department of Transportation is cautioning drivers that the first major winter storm of the season may hamper some plans.
If you’re getting out on the roads, try these tips for safe winter travel:
1. Plan. For traveler information, visit http://511ia.org/. You can also call 511 within Iowa or 800-288-1047 nationwide.
2. Don’t rush. Often, delaying a trip by a few hours can give snow removal crews time to get the roads back to normal. Allow extra time to reach your destination.
3. Prepare your vehicle and passengers. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition and the gas tank is full. Turn on your headlights so you can see and be seen. Ensure all passengers buckle up.
4. Use your winter driving skills. Slow down. Allow extra stopping distance. Avoid abrupt steering. Don’t use your phone while driving
5. Carry an emergency survival kit and other supplies. These items can include: booster cables, candles and matches, a flashlight with fresh batteries, extra blankets and warm clothes, nonperishable food items, a can for melting water, and a snow shovel.
Volunteers in Iowa make a difference
Volunteers in Iowa showed their commitment to their communities in a variety of ways last year. They also once again put Iowa near the top in state volunteer rankings, according to the Volunteering and Civic Life in America report. The annual report ranks all 50 states, as well as cities and metropolitan areas, for their volunteering and civic engagement rates.
More than 910,000 Iowans volunteered over 99 million hours last year. That’s a value of more than $2.1 billion!
To view the complete report and see how our area stacks up when it comes to volunteering, go to www.volunteeringinamerica.gov. To learn about how you can get use your time and talents as a local volunteer, visit www.volunteeriowa.org.
Students can “Write Women Back Into History”
Iowa students in grades 6–9 are invited to enter the 2013 Write Women Back Into History Essay Contest. The theme is “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.”
Winning essayists will be awarded prizes and recognized at a special ceremony at the State Capitol during Women’s History Month in March. I’ve enjoyed welcoming winners onto the Senate floor in past years.
The annual contest is sponsored by the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women, the Iowa Department of Education and the State Historical Society of Iowa. Deadline for entries is January 25. For more information and an entry form, go here