Alerts
ACTION ALERT: Support Money Follows the Person
12.14.18
  ACTION ALERT!Tell your Senators to Support Money Follows the... Read More...
Committee Assignments Begin
11.27.18
The House Republicans have announced their Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs, while the Senate Republicans have finalized their entire committee... Read More...
New Legislative Leaders Announced (UPDATED)
11.17.18
The Senate Republicans and Democrats, and House Republicans and Democrats held their initial post-election caucuses and elected their leaders for the... Read More...
MEET THE NEWLY ELECTED LEGISLATORS
11.10.18
Find out more about Iowa's newly elected Congressional Representatives!  First you need to find out which districts you live in for Congress, Iowa... Read More...
Election Results!
11.08.18
What an election night!  Iowans voted in record numbers - 60% of all registered voters turned out.  That's 1.3 million voters (a usual mid-term... Read More...


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Current Articles
Starting next year, Iowans will be asked to show identification in order to vote.   Voters can use an Iowa driver's license or non-operator ID, but... Read more
On December 12, voters in Plymouth and Woodbury Counties chose a new State Senator. Rep. Jim Carlin (R-Sioux City) was elected to the Iowa Senate,... Read more
The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) has hired a new Medicaid Director.  Michael Randol has been appointed director of the Iowa Medicaid... Read more
It's hard to believe that the legislative session will begin in less than a month.  Legislators will return to Des Moines for their 100-day... Read more
The state's move to Medicaid managed care has been rocky from the beginning.  Every week there is another twist that threatens the stability of the... Read more
Click here to get this issue in PDF format. Read more
Iowa's economy is growing, but its not growing enough to pay for the growth in government spending.  New revenue estimates were released today, and... Read more
Click here for PDF version of this newsletter. Read more
Lots to talk about this month.  First came the news that AmeriHealth Caritas is leaving the state, and will no longer manage Medicaid services to more... Read more
Last month, Senator Bill Anderson (R-Sioux City) announced he would be leaving the Senate.  Voters in Plymouth and parts of Woodbury County will go to... Read more
Iowans with ABLE savings accounts will be able to save more next year. The total annual contribution limit to an ABLE account will be increased from... Read more
Special elections are not the only things that bring change in the Iowa Legislature.  This summer two prominent Senate Republicans from Sioux City... Read more
The Medical Assistance Advisory Council (MAAC) and the Legislative Health Policy Oversight Committee did not have a shortage of issues to discuss when... Read more
Iowans who plan to buy their own health insurance for 2018 can enroll through December 15. HealthCare.gov is the only official government website... Read more
This year the Iowa Legislature expanded the state's limited medical cannabidiol law to allow Iowans with several chronic conditions to legally... Read more
Were you one of the thousands of Iowans that voted in the November 7 local election? If so, you might have been part of some Iowa history!  While... Read more
November 2, 2017.  The total annual contribution limit to an ABLE account will be increased from $14,000 per tax year to $15,000 per tax year... Read more
The Iowa Department on Aging has named Cindy Pederson as the new State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.  Pederson has been acting Ombudsman since Deanna... Read more
When you think elections, you probably think about voting for President or Governor.  But did you know that the most important elections are just... Read more
We know that there have been changes in Iowa's voting laws this last year, and we want to make sure everyone knows their rights (and responsibilities)... Read more
By Paula Dierenfeld, Mayor, City of Johnston Elections are important.  And perhaps the most important elections are those that are closest to us, our... Read more
The state's Managed Care Ombudsman Program has released a new resource for Medicaid members, How to Be Your Own Best Advocate: A Guide on How to... Read more
More changes are coming to managed care.  Iowans who receive services paid by the ID waiver will be assigned a level based on their functional... Read more
It's been a tough year.  Legislators came back into session in January and had to immediately trim $88 million from the budget.  In March, they... Read more
Since the November 2016 election, our state has seen new legislators sworn in after four special elections, our Lt. Governor taking over the role of... Read more
When legislators are faced with an issue too difficult to tackle in the five months of the legislative session, they will often request an "interim... Read more
It has been tough - impossible really - to keep our Guide to the Iowa Legislature updated this year! In the last 10 months, there have been four... Read more
Iowans interested in setting up ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts can do so now in Iowa.  You can find all the information you need... Read more
The Iowa Legislature expanded Iowa's limited cannabidiol program earlier this year, allowing Iowans with several painful conditions to access legal... Read more
Iowa will become the 34th state to require its voters show some form of ID before voting when a bill passed earlier this year goes into full effect.... Read more
Iowans who buy their health insurance through the "Obamacare" health insurance exchange are facing a 58% increase in premiums.  Only one company... Read more
UPDATED 9/20/17.  Iowa finished its budget year on June 30, 2017.  Early in July, the news reported that our state may have overspent by $110 million.... Read more
This year, we tracked over 100 bills that might be of interest to our readers; 27 of those will become law on July 1, 2017 (unless we note otherwise).... Read more
Legislators do not hold as many forums over the summer and fall, but your federal elected officials (Congress, US Senate) and the new Governor/Lt.... Read more
It's official. Governor Kim Reynolds is Iowa's first female Governor.  Terry Branstad resigned from office after being confirmed by the US Senate as... Read more
Before becoming Ambassador, Governor Branstad finished signing bills into law.  The Legislature sent 174 bills to the Governor this year - and all... Read more
While the Legislature has finished its work for the year, there is still plenty of activity going on over the summer months.  Legislative leaders will... Read more
The Iowa Legislature finished its work for the year after a sleep-deprived final week that only ended after legislative leaders decided to pull an... Read more
There is no other way to say it - the budget this year is painful.  Legislators had little choice but to make deep cuts to the state's budget. Early... Read more
Legislators pack up their desks and bring important papers home when session is done. It is always a sign that the end is near when the boxes come... Read more
The Governor is expected to sign HF 516 into law soon, making Iowa the 33rd state to require some form of identification when voting.  Seven states... Read more
In a normal session (if there is such a thing), funding for regional mental health and disability services (MH/DS) is one of the last issues resolved.... Read more
Legislators introduced 1,653 bill this year - but only 174 were sent to the Governor for a signature.  So far the Governor has signed all the bills... Read more
(April 21, 2017) There were four votes on medical cannabis this year - but the final vote on the bill was on the last night of the legislative... Read more
(March 18 & 20, 2017) Iowa's 14 mental health and disability services (MH/DS) regions have been stuck with a funding system that was based on... Read more
Legislators worked late into the evening on Thursday (April 13) to get things ready to end session next week.  Much of the work was on budgets, which... Read more
It's tough reading through thousands of pages of bills to find out how they impact you, with only a few days before they become final.  Here are a few... Read more
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees have passed their bills to address the funding crisis in the state's regional mental health and... Read more
Iowa will become the 33rd state to require citizens to show some form of ID when voting. HF 516 was sent to the Governor this week; a signature is... Read more
Legislators are now entering the final two weeks of the 2017 legislative session. There is still a lot of work to do, including making some very tough... Read more
You can see the most current status of bills we are tracking in our infoNET Bill Tracker.  Updates are made daily.  Read more
Republican leaders in the Iowa Legislature came into the session promising to pass a Voter ID bill, and they are well on their way to checking that... Read more
It was the end of the line for hundreds of bills last week, as the second "funnel" deadline closed in on bills that had not yet made it far enough in... Read more
Unless legislators go into overtime this year, this issue of infoNET will be the final biweekly session issue for 2017.  We will publish a final "End... Read more
You can now download and print the 2017-2018 Guide to the Iowa Legislature.  All current infoNET subscribers will receive one free printed copy of the... Read more
The state’s 14 mental health and disability services (MH/DS) regions asked legislators to consider their plan to stabilize funding for services... Read more
(March 27, 2017) Iowans would have to show their ID to vote under this proposed legislation. The bill (HF 516) as amended by the Senate also... Read more
The Legislature has officially been in session for two months, and there is just one month left to go. Legislators will begin their 11th week of work... Read more
Iowa became the 19th state to enact autism insurance reform in 2010, but the legislation only applied to state employee health insurance plans. Since... Read more
Iowa’s limited medical cannabis laws are about to expire. On July 1, Iowans with severe epilepsy will no longer be protected from law... Read more
Congress is on a fast track to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to make drastic cuts to state Medicaid programs. These cuts... Read more
You can see the most current status of bills we are tracking in our infoNET Bill Tracker.  Updates are made daily.  Right now, here is a list of bills... Read more
There are a lot of challenges to funding this year. This doesn’t have to be one of them. The state’s mental health and disability services... Read more
Bills making big changes to Iowa’s workers’ compensation system are moving quickly through the Legislature.  Workers’ compensation... Read more
Iowa legislators are required by law to balance the state's budget each year, and only spend 99% of the state’s money.  The remaining 1% goes... Read more
(March 15, 2017) House File 215 requires insurance plans to cover applied behavior analysis for children diagnosed with autism.  The bill only applies... Read more
(March 9, 2017) Iowans would have to show their ID to vote under this proposed legislation. The bill (HF 516) also makes changes to absentee ballot... Read more
Now is the time to let your legislators know about the bills, programs, and services you care about.  Use our Grassroots Advocacy Center to send your... Read more
Four months is not a lot of time.  Legislators must wade through hundreds of bills that deal with everything from declaring a state butterfly (regal... Read more
Mental health and disability services (MH/DS) regions are facing their biggest challenge yet - steady, long term funding.  Since the system was... Read more
Hundreds of Iowans turned out for a public hearing on Monday night (March 6) to comment on the bill that would require all voters to show an ID card... Read more
Committees worked hard over the last two weeks to make sure their priorities made it through the first legislative funnel deadline.  For hundreds of... Read more
By Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate Thank you for the opportunity to provide more information regarding my Election Integrity Act proposal. My... Read more
Republican leaders in the Iowa Legislature say they want to pass a Voter ID bill in 2017, but they have not yet decided what that bill will look like.... Read more
Republican leaders in the Iowa Legislature say they want to pass a Voter ID bill in 2017, but they have not yet decided what that bill will look like.... Read more
Four county auditors were invited to discuss their thoughts on the Secretary of State's Voter ID proposal at the House State Government... Read more
This legislative session continues to be one for the history books.  Thousands of Iowa workers, union members, and teachers crowded into the Capitol... Read more
This legislative session continues to be one for the history books.  Thousands of Iowa workers and union members crowded into the Capitol to oppose... Read more
Last week, State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald launched IAble, a new savings plan for Iowans who want to help a family member or friend with a... Read more
The State Capitol isn't the only place where crowds are growing.  Legislators are reporting record turnout at their local legislative forums, held on... Read more
Our mailed version of infoNET is much more concise than our e-mailed and online version. Click on the image below for the PDF version . Read more
The State Capitol isn't the only place where crowds are growing.  Legislators are reporting record turnout at their local legislative forums,held on... Read more
You can be the crowd at the Capitol on Wednesday, April 5, 2017!  Join other self-advocates at the State Capitol for Advocating Change Day 2017.  The... Read more
Know your stuff!  Use our online Bill Tracker to follow bills introduced this legislative session.   Our bill tracker is updated daily, and keeps tabs... Read more
The House and Senate are off to a fast start this year.  Dozens of subcommittee meetings have been held, and the Senate has already jump started its... Read more
By Kristine Dreckman  Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is highly contagious.  Almost everyone has come into contact with CMV.  In fact, the United States... Read more
CMV is not just another acronym - it's a disease that few people know about, but is the leading cause of developmental disabilities.  It's also a new... Read more
The House and Senate are off to a fast start this year.  Dozens of subcommittee meetings have been held, and the Senate has already jumped started its... Read more
Monica Kurth won the Davenport special election on January 31, becoming the newest member of the Iowa House of Representatives.  Rep. Kurth is a... Read more
Funding for locally-managed mental health and disability services (MH/DS) has been an issue for legislators since the state intervened in the system... Read more
For the past decade, legislators have looked for different ways to pay for various services to individuals with autism. State employee insurance was... Read more
Our mailed version of infoNET is much more concise than our e-mailed and online version. Click on the image below for the PDF version .     Read more
Iowa’s 150 newly elected state legislators returned to the Iowa Capitol to begin the 110-day legislative session. But not everything is the... Read more
NOTE: This article has been updated with new information about budgets (1/25/17). This is a good news, bad news kind of story.  The good news is... Read more
Iowa’s Secretary of State (SOS) Paul Pate will ask to change state laws this year to require Iowans show identification when voting at the polls... Read more
On January 13, the US House of Representatives passed the 2017 Budget Resolution 227 to 198.  All but one of Iowa’s US Representatives voted for... Read more
A special election was held in December to find a new State Senator to represent Davenport.    State Representative Jim Lykam won that election, so he... Read more
The Iowa Medicaid Enterprise and the Medical Assistance Advisory Council (MAAC) are again hosting monthly listening posts this year to give the public... Read more
Last week our country got a new President, but our leaders are not the only things changing.  You may notice a something new with infoNET this... Read more
As we mentioned before, our mailed version of infoNET is much more concise than our e-mailed and online version. Click on the image below for the PDF... Read more
Join other self-advocates at the State Capitol for Advocating Change Day 2017 on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Register now at  www.idaction.org. Read more
Know your stuff!  Use our online Bill Tracker to follow bills introduced this legislative session.   Our bill tracker is updated daily, and keeps tabs... Read more
Last year, we tracked over 500 public legislative forums, Congressional town hall meetings, and various elected official listening posts.  So check... Read more
State legislators will have the tough job of cutting this year’s state budget by $110 million when they come back into session on January 9,... Read more
Over the past several weeks, the four caucuses in the Iowa Legislature have announced their committee assignments.  We have compiled these into a... Read more
It is always hard to predict which issues will get the most attention when legislators return to Des Moines for the legislative session. This year is... Read more
There are rumors that legislators may try to save money by ending session earlier than expected.  That means they may consider moving legislative... Read more
A little preparation can help you a lot in your advocacy. Here are a few things that can help you out this year: Find your legislators, and send... Read more
Davenport State Senator Joe Seng died in September after a two-year battle with cancer; he was in the middle of his four-year term (Senate District... Read more
We are currently in the process of updating our popular Guide to the Iowa Legislature.  We will post early editions of it online soon after the new... Read more
Election night was a big one for Republicans - they won the Presidency (Donald Trump), now control 239 of the 435 seats in the US House of... Read more
ID Action & infoNET will team up again to distribute the "2017/2018 Guide to the Iowa Legislature" once all special elections are held and committee... Read more
Iowa Medicaid Enterprise has hosted several public comment sessions around the state this year, with the final meeting to be held in Des Moines on... Read more
The Health/Human Services Budget passed in the 2016 legislative session directed the Department of Human Services (DHS) to submit a report on the... Read more
Welcome to our annual Election Edition!  You cannot turn on the TV or radio this year without hearing about the elections.  Unfortunately, not much of... Read more
Written by Ken Kline, Cerro Gordo County Auditor Since the implementation of Election Day registration in 2008, an increasing number of Iowans have... Read more
Thursday, September 29 - Absentee Ballots Ready.Absentee ballots are available for in-person voting at county auditors offices, and will... Read more
by Roxanna Moritz, Scott County Auditor & Commissioner of Elections First and foremost, I would like to express my appreciation for all of the hard... Read more
The 2016 general election will be here before we know it, and it is time to start preparing now. ID Action offers a voter training to inform and... Read more
Senator Joe Seng died on September 16 after a long battle with brain cancer. Dr. Seng was a well-known veterinarian who represented Davenport and the... Read more
Some states elect their judges, and others (like Iowa) have what is called a "retention election."  That is, Iowans vote on whether to keep or "fire"... Read more
It is clear that the dust is settling some on Medicaid managed care, but for many there are still unanswered questions and uncertainty about services.... Read more
Since we first reported on the federal passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in December 2014, we have heard from dozens of... Read more
Individuals with disabilities often struggle financially, because they are forced to live in poverty in order to remain eligible for programs that pay... Read more
The Iowa ABLE Act was passed by the Iowa General Assembly in 2015, and I am pleased to have been given the responsibility of administering the program... Read more
Even before most states implement their ABLE accounts, Congress is looking for ways to improve benefits and expand access.  A bi-partisan group of US... Read more
In case you haven't heard, Senator David Johnson has decided to become an Independent.  Many of you know him - he has been a strong advocate for... Read more
If you could pick an issue that defined the 2016 legislative session - Medicaid managed care would certainly be in the running for top honors.  There... Read more
On May 18, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new rule that gives nearly 4.2 million US workers new protections under the Fair Labor Standard... Read more
Thursday, June 16th is the last day Medicaid members can change their Medicaid managed care organization (MCO) for any reason. After that date you... Read more
Now that the legislative session is over, there will be fewer public forums and town hall meetings with legislators.  However, we will continue to... Read more
 This year, the Iowa Legislature passed 141 bills, all of which were signed into law by the Governor.  That may seem like a lot, but it's really not... Read more
Voting in Iowa is pretty easy.  You just need to register to vote, and then choose how you want to vote (in person on election day, or early by... Read more
Recently, Governor Branstad completed action on the 2016 session by signing the final bills from this year. This year the Governor signed all the... Read more
On June 7, the members of the Democratic Party and Republican Party picked who will represent them in Congress, at the State Capitol, and in local... Read more
It's hard to believe it's already May. Soon it will be Memorial Day, and June will be here before you know it.  We just wanted to remind everyone that... Read more
One issue clearly dominated discussion at the Capitol this year - Medicaid managed care.  Legislators were deeply divided on on this issue, but all... Read more
The budget the Legislature just passed this session is for fiscal year 2017, which begins on July 1, 2016 and pays for services and programs through... Read more
Do you want to make a difference in the lives of Iowans with disabilities? Consider joining the Iowa Developmental Disabilities (DD) Council!  The DD... Read more
Keep track of bills that may impact the lives of individuals with disabilities in our Bill Tracker.  Bills listed as "active" have passed and are... Read more
Now that the legislative session is over, there will be fewer public forums and town hall meetings with legislators.  However, we will continue to... Read more
During the legislative session, you receive newsletters every other week.  Now that the session is over, we will return to our every other month... Read more
The Legislature finished its work this year without passing a permanent fix for funding the state's regional mental health and disability services... Read more
After 110 days of fighting over budgets, water quality, medical marijuana, tax breaks for baseball fields, Medicaid managed care, fireworks, and... Read more
Legalizing marijuana to treat medical conditions has gotten a lot of attention in the disability community.  Currently, Iowa law allows people with a... Read more
Parents of children with autism have long advocated for legislation that requires insurance plans pay for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of... Read more
The Iowa Legislature is entering its final days.  While legislators are scheduled to adjourn on Tuesday, they will probably need the entire week (if... Read more
Budget bills started appearing this week at the Capitol, and both the House and Senate worked hard to get them into position so they can be debated... Read more
The House and Senate continue to talk about funding for the regional mental health and disability services system.  Both want to find a way to fund... Read more
In our last issue of INFONET, we published information on how to contact the Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs for short).  We also provided... Read more
You've heard the expression - March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.  The same could be said for the 2016 legislative session.  March... Read more
While session may be winding down, the Legislature still has a lot to do. School funding.  Legislators increased funding for local schools at... Read more
The Senate Human Resources Committee continues to meet weekly to get updates on the Medicaid managed care transition, and push for strong oversight of... Read more
It has been some time since we have reported on budgets, since not much has happened since mid-February.  Here is a quick refresher on where we are at... Read more
Transportation has always been a challenge for Iowans with disablities, even in urban areas that have bus service and taxis.  Uber is now spreading... Read more
Three managed care organizations (MCOs) started managing the care to 560,000 Iowans on April 1, as the state made the transition to what supporters... Read more
The Senate has passed a comprehensive (some would argue too comprehensive) Medicaid oversight bill intended to hold the three managed care... Read more
Three years ago, the county-based mental health and disability services (MH/DS) system was redesigned.  Nearly everything about the system changed. ... Read more
You may have heard the term "ombudsman."  Ombudsman is Swedish for "representative" - but in America it is the word we use for a government official... Read more
By State Representative Lisa Heddens of Ames Ames is among cities, with population of at least 25,000 or more, with the lowest jobless rate of 2.7%... Read more
In order to park in an accessible parking spot, you must have a permit.  You can get that permit with a doctor's note, and it can be either... Read more
Iowa's privacy laws on the exchange of mental health records are among the most strict in the country.  With new federal laws in place, most states... Read more
The last legislative deadline (called a "funnel") hit on Friday, March 11.  Bills that didn't make it through one chamber and out of committee in the... Read more
There is really only one thing legislators must do before they adjourn for the year - pass a state budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. ... Read more
The Iowa Senate passed a bill two weeks ago that would set up a structure to make sure Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) are held accountable... Read more
When the Senate Government Oversight Committee convened on March 17 to discuss the new Medicaid Managed Care Program Integrity & Oversight Bill... Read more
Legislators had only three short weeks between deadlines to get their priority bills through most of the legislative process. While there has been... Read more
Six Republicans joined 26 Democrats in approving a bill (SF 2213) that will make sure Iowa avoids many of the mistakes other states have made in... Read more
The news many of you have been waiting for came last week - the federal government (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS) gave Iowa the... Read more
If you missed the debate on the Medicaid Managed Care Program Integrity and Oversight (SF 2213), you might consider going back and watching it. While... Read more
More than 200 advocates with disabilities came to the Capitol on February 24 to participate in a rally against the state's decision to privatize its... Read more
No news is, well not really good news.  There has been no work publicly on the budgets for over a month now, and committee chairs say they are waiting... Read more
There are a number of bills that are facing the funnel deadline next week.  You can see current status of all these bills anytime at... Read more
Most legislators hold public forums and town hall meetings when they are back in their districts on Fridays and Saturdays. These are excellent... Read more
Senate File 2213 is the "Medicaid Program Improvement and Oversight" bill, and the Iowa Senate passed it 32-18.  The bill makes sure the three... Read more
(February 25, 2016)  Senate File 2254 requires health insurance plans pay for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders,... Read more
Session started five weeks ago, and since that time legislators have sponsored nearly 1,000 bills dealing with everything from human trafficking to... Read more
The House announced its budget targets last week.  These "targets" show how much House leaders want to spend in each area of the budget. The Governor... Read more
Legislators will spend the next two weeks in floor debate in an effort to get bills that survived the first funnel moving before the second funnel... Read more
Most legislators hold public forums and town hall meetings when they are back in their districts on Fridays and Saturdays. These are excellent... Read more
Legislators have begun to announce their plans for re-election or retirement.  As you know, State Representatives must run for office every two years,... Read more
The Iowa Senate voted to end the Governor's move to privatize Medicaid last week.  The vote was bipartisan (29-19), with all 26 Democrats and 3... Read more
Keep track of bills that may impact the lives of individuals with disabilities in our Bill Tracker.  Status is updated daily.  Read more
(February 11, 2016) The Iowa Senate voted 29-19 to end the Governor's move to privatize Iowa's Medicaid system.  Senate File 2125 would end the... Read more
On a sad note, former Senator Tom Hancock passed away suddenly just after midnight last Sunday from an apparent heart attack.  Always a public servant... Read more
Snow and the Iowa Caucuses cut the legislative work week short, but that didn't stop the flood of new bills that were introduced this week. Since our... Read more
The Iowa Senate released two bills this week to tackle concerns they heard from Iowans about the transition to Medicaid managed care.  One in five... Read more
It's tough for even the most experienced legislators to read through a 31-page Medicaid bill, let alone those of us that never went to law school.  We... Read more
This coming week we hope to get a report on the status of the ABLE Act, legislation passed last year that allows individuals with disabilites to set... Read more
Legislators were not happy this year when they learned that the Department of Human Services had not increased Medicaid supported employment provider... Read more
Most legislators hold public forums and town hall meetings when they are back in their districts on Fridays and Saturdays. These are excellent... Read more
Keep track of bills that may impact the lives of individuals with disabilities in our Bill Tracker.  Status is updated daily. Read more
In March 2014,  the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new definitions of settings in which it is okay for states to pay... Read more
The legislative session officially kicked off on Monday, January 11, 2016.  The session is scheduled to last 100 days; after that legislators stop... Read more
By Deanna Clingan-Fischer, State Long-Term Care Ombudman As your State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, I always appreciate the opportunity to share more... Read more
You knew this session was going to be tough.  Early reports showed the state is not collecting as much in taxes as it had expected.  The state is... Read more
If you think lawmaking in the legislature is complicated, just wait until you get into the rulemaking process!  Not many  people know that once a bill... Read more
A complete list of the bills introduced to date, with status updated daily, can be found on the infoNET Bill Tracker.  2015 Bills.  Bills that didn't... Read more
During the 2016 legislative session, ID Action will provide eight (8) Capitol Day grants up to $500 each for advocacy training and support to local... Read more
Northwest Iowa has a new state legislator representing them at the State Capitol in Des Moines this year.  Chuck Soderberg, who represented Plymouth... Read more
The Iowa Legislature will come back into session on Monday, January 11, 2016 for a "short" 100-day legislative session.  Below are a few dates you... Read more
During the 2015 legislative session, legislators knew there would be issues that needed to be addressed as the state moved its Medicaid system into... Read more
Iowans that receive Medicaid services have been calling on the Governor to slow down the transition to Medicaid managed care, and give them time to... Read more
Managed care organizations (MCOs) and state Medicaid staff presented to the Legislative Health Policy Oversight Committee on December 7.  Here is what... Read more
Iowa's 150 legislators will face many tough issues when they come back to the State Capitol for the start of the 2016 legislative session on January... Read more
While the Health Policy Oversight Committee only met twice this year, it's importance will continue to grow as the managed care system rolls out. ... Read more
It is common for a state to end up in court defending its decisions when awarding managed care contracts.  Some of the unsuccessful managed care... Read more
It never fails.  We print, reprint, and reprint (at great expense) our popular Guide to the Iowa Legislature - and then there is a special election,... Read more
Talking to your elected officials can be intimidating to even the most experienced advocates.  But not all advocacy has to be serious business.  Have... Read more
Many of you have been waiting to hear how our state plans to move its Medicaid system to managed care, and the companies that will be chosen to help... Read more
ID Action is excited to host its second Make Your Mark! Self-Advocacy Conference October 7-9, 2015 at the Coralville Marriott in Coralville, Iowa.... Read more
Earlier this month, State Representative Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha announced he would step down as Speaker of the House.  This is the highest... Read more
That's right, legislators and other elected officials hold town hall meetings and public forums during the summer and fall months too!  Make sure you... Read more
The Legislative Council has approved three interim committees that will meet between now and the end of the year to review three issues that lawmakers... Read more
Many of you may receive information directly from the ASK Resource Center, but for those of you that do not, we are reprinting a three-part series... Read more
A team of four reviewers (all DHS employees) scored each of the 11 companies that submitted bids to manage Iowa's Medicaid system.  Companies were... Read more
At the end of session, we reported that the Legislature had added $750,000 to the Medicaid budget to pay for an increase in supported employment... Read more
The Iowa Department of Human Services filed administrative rules to implement the Employment Services Redesign Plan on August 19.  This plan was... Read more
In order to modernize Iowa's Medicaid system and transition to managed care, the State must ask the federal government to allow changes to the state's... Read more
On July 2, the 2015 legislative session officially came to an end when Governor Terry Branstad took action on several bills.  The 2015 Legislative... Read more
At the start of session, your lawmakers were faced with an $80 million shortfall in Medicaid for the current year and a $200 million increase needed... Read more
Six months after a federal law paved the way for tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities, the IRS is providing details on how they... Read more
You can read more about the bills that passed the Legislature in the infoNET Bill Tracker here.  The bill tracker lists all bills that were signed or... Read more
At the start of session, Iowa's 150 legislators were faced with an $80 million shortfall in Medicaid for the current year and a $200 million increase... Read more
The following update comes from the Department of Human Serviices. The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) is working very closely with its... Read more
The 2015 Iowa Legislative Session finally ended just before 4:00 p.m. on Friday, June 5, 2015.. The end of session was delayed by more than a month... Read more
The Legislature finished up their work after passing a $7.168 billion budget that keeps the Mt. Pleasant Mental Health Instiute open, allows a private... Read more
Earlier in the year, two Senate committees unanimously passed the Iowa ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Savings Plan Trust Act.... Read more
After three years of discussion, the Senate passed Senate File 509 on June 2, the "refueling assistance bill" that makes sure drivers with... Read more
Eleven companies have submitted proposals to manage Iowa's Medicaid program; the state plans to select up to four companies. The state is now looking... Read more
The infoNET Bill Tracker is updated with all action as of the close of the legislative session.  As the Governor signs and vetoes bills, we will make... Read more
(June 2, 2015) The Iowa Senate voted 30-20 to pass the Refueling Assistance Bill (Senate File 509) which requires all newly constructed, replaced, or... Read more
This week, leaders in the Iowa House of Representatives released their budget targets.  These targets show two things - how much they plan to spend... Read more
People attending Advocating for Change Day 2015 were given a new Advocacy Toolkit that includes lots of helpful information to hone your advocacy... Read more
The Iowa Health and Wellness Plan (which began on January 1, 2014) is a Medicaid program created to provide comprehensive health care coverage to... Read more
Friday (May 1) is the 110th day of the legislative session.  That is the final day that legislators will get an expense check to help pay for the cost... Read more
Advocates attending Advocating for Change Day 2015 heard from the two women who chair the Senate and House Human Resources Committees about the... Read more
More than 400 advocates attended the ID Action "Advocating for Change Day" on Wednesday, April 22, talking to legislators about funding, waiting... Read more
Friday, April 3 was the end of the road for hundreds of bills that failed to make it out of committee before the Legislature's second (and final)... Read more
Normally this time of year, the Legislature is entering its final phase, and policy debates start to wind down and budgets take shape.  This year,... Read more
Rep. Walt Rogers wants people to know that legislators do listen. "We often get accused of not listening to people," said Rep. Rogers. "This time we... Read more
As you can see from Sen. Rita Hart's editorial this week, you can make a difference!  For her, all it took was an email from a constituent to make her... Read more
Guest Editorial by State Senator Rita Hart Iowans rely on their vehicles to get to work, pick up groceries, drive their children to school and... Read more
GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY VIDEO:  The infoNET Grassroots Action Center is easy to use - it really does take just minutes to email your legislators.  We have... Read more
Keep track of bills that may impact the lives of individuals with disabilities in our Bill Tracker.  Status is updated daily, so you can always find... Read more
April 1 will be day 80 of the 110-day legislative session. Normally that means legislators become very serious about getting things done, so they can... Read more
To keep things moving along at a good pace, the Iowa Legislature has rules that require bills make progress by certain dates, or they are finished for... Read more
The Department of Human Services has finished its public hearings on managed care. These six hearings have been packed, with lots of questions asked.... Read more
Keep track of bills that may impact the lives of individuals with disabilities in our Bill Tracker.  Status is updated daily, so you can always find... Read more
ADVOCATING FOR CHANGE DAY 2015:  Reminder that registrations are due on April 6 for Advocating for Change Day (April 22, 2015).  Click here to get... Read more
The Iowa Legislature passed two milestones this weekend.  The legislative session hit its halfway point on Saturday (March 7) - the 55th day in this... Read more
As noted earlier, about half of the bills tracked in the infoNET Bill Tracker will continue on in the legislative process.  The next deadline coming... Read more
Not all bills were lucky enough to make the cut in this funnel deadline.You can see a complete list of these bills in our Bill Tracker by switching... Read more
The Department of Human Services originally planned four public meetings on the plan to transform Iowa's Medicaid system by transitioing it to managed... Read more
  The Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, ID Action and Polk County Health Services invite you to participate in Advocating for Change Day on... Read more
The infoNET Grassroots Action Center is easy to use - it really does take just minutes to email your legislators.  We have a new video starring Rik... Read more
Keep track of bills that may impact the lives of individuals with disabilities in our Bill Tracker.  Status is updated daily. Read more
Most legislators hold public forums and town hall meetings when they are back in their districts on Fridays and Saturdays. These are excellent... Read more
The pace is picking up at the Capitol as your elected officials close in on their first deadline, called a "funnel."  Committees need to get bills... Read more
Have you ever wondered what issues your State Senator and State Representative are working on while they are at the Captiol?  The answers are just a... Read more
Most legislators hold public forums and town hall meetings when they are back in their districts on Fridays and Saturdays. These are excellent... Read more
Legislators read hundreds of bills each year, but only about 12% end up becoming law.  Even fewer of those have an impact on the lives of people with... Read more
When a person is unable to safely make decisions for him/herself, a guardian can be chosen to make decisions for that person.  Sometimes a guardian... Read more
Not only is it easy to find the bills your legislators sponsored this year, it's also easy to see all of the bills that are in a committee.  While we... Read more
The Health and Human Services Budget Subcommittee will make decisions about the future of the regional mental health and disability (MH/DS) services... Read more
On Monday, Iowa released the much-awaited Medicaid Managed Care RFP. This "Request for Proposals" asks managed care organizations (MCOs) to outline... Read more
The Health and Human Services Budget Subcommittee heard from national experts on managed care last week - Laura Tobler from the National Council on... Read more
As we finish up the first four weeks of session, the Legislature is focusing most of its attention on school funding.  Education is our state's... Read more
As always, legislators that work on health and human services issues face many challenges. There is never enough money to pay for the ever-growing... Read more
Legislators this week also began discussions about the growing waiting lists for Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers.  Iowa... Read more
Never a dull moment in Iowa politics, particularly as the Presidential primary season inches closer.  People who want to run for President in 2016... Read more
CAPITOL DAY GRANTS AVAILABLE.  Coming to the Capitol to see your legislators can be fun, educational, and very productive! ID Action is again offering... Read more
Most legislators hold public forums and town hall meetings when they are back in their districts on Fridays and Saturdays. These are excellent... Read more
Legislators read hundreds of bills each year, but only about 12% end up becoming law.  Even fewer of those have an impact on the lives of people with... Read more
The 2015 legislative session began on Monday, January 12 with the swearing in of 21 new legislators and 128 returning legislators.  At this time, one... Read more
Iowa's Medicaid budget is facing a crisis.  First, the federal match rate changed so Iowa will get fewer federal dollars. An additional $56... Read more
The National Council on Disability has developed a checklist of ten items they consider "Guiding Principles" that can be used to evaluate a state's... Read more
Coming to the Capitol to see your legislators can be fun, educational, and very productive!  This year, ID Action is again offering to help local... Read more
Most legislators hold public forums and town hall meetings when they are back in their districts on Fridays and Saturdays. These are ways they keep in... Read more
We track any bills that may have an impact on the lives of people with disabilities, their family members, their communities, and their service... Read more
Two years ago, we printed our first ID Action/Infonet Guide to the Iowa Legislature, and it was so popular we ran out of copies within a few... Read more
Iowans that are elected to the Iowa Legislature often have a reason - they want to do something, help someone, or make a difference in our state. ... Read more
When bills are proposed that make changes to or affect home and community based services, Medicaid, and other social services, they are typically... Read more
The Youth Leadership Forum is a five day transition program for high school students with disabilities. Throughout the week, students will have the... Read more
There is trouble brewing in the state's $1.3 billion Medicaid budget, and legislators are already talking openly about tough decisions that may need... Read more
Governor Branstad told reporters recently that the state is going to face a “challenging” budget cycle when the session gets underway on... Read more
After nearly four decades in Congress, Tom Harkin said goodbye to his colleagues in Washington DC earlier this month.  Senator Harkin decided earlier... Read more
The holidays are coming, and legislators will start back at work soon after the new year begins. Life for all of us gets so busy in these final months... Read more
Iowans also elected a new Secretary of State this year, Paul Pate of Cedar Rapids. But the new Secretary of State is really the old Secretary of... Read more
The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued regulations that define the settings in which states are allowed to pay for... Read more
As we mentioned, State Senator Joni Ernst was elected to the US Senate.  Since she was in the middle of her four-year term, she will have to resign... Read more
Two years ago, we printed our first ID Action/Infonet Guide to the Iowa Legislature, and it was so popular we ran out of copies within a few... Read more
The calendar has been set for the 2015 Iowa Legislative Session.  We call these two-year legislative cycles a "General Assembly." Here are a list of... Read more
Don't miss the very important, very fun, and very educational Advocating for Change Day 2015!  It's a day of advocacy and networking, plus a little... Read more
By now you have probably felt that sense of relief - the elections are over and the political ads that have been keeping you from enjoying your... Read more
On Tuesday, November 4th Iowans will go to the polls to cast their vote for people who will represent them in Washington, D.C., Des Moines, and their... Read more
Voting in Iowa is simple and accessible for voters of all abilities.  Before you head to the polls this November 4th to cast your vote, here are a few... Read more
The winners of this year’s election will be making decisions that directly impact your daily life. Understanding each candidate’s position... Read more
Iowa courts are considered among the best in the nation, largely because of the way we appoint our judges. In Iowa, we do not elect our judges. They... Read more
Here are a few more resources to help you get ready to vote! More on ID Action's "Vote" website. Non-partisan information on voting from the League... Read more
The Iowa Department of Human Services is taking public comments on their request to extend the waiver of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT)... Read more
The Iowa Legislature voted this year to allow certain people with epilepsy to legally use marijuana to treat and prevent seizures.  However, the... Read more
In 2013 the Governor vetoed $8.7 million that was to be used to take people off the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver waiting... Read more
The first step to becoming a legislator, a member of Congress, Governor, Secretary of State, or any other elected office is to get your political... Read more
The issues legislators deal with each year can be very complicated, and can be tough to fix in the busy months of the legislative session.  When... Read more
A new AARP study shows that Iowa ranks 13th in the nation when it comes to meeting the long-term care needs of older adults and people with physical... Read more
You can check out disability-related bills (including budget bills) that were passed by the Legislature this year in the infoNET Bill Tracker.  All... Read more
Many people think of the legislative session as the "busy time" for advocates, and summer as down time.  In fact, it is quite the opposite!  Now is... Read more
An updated map of the approved Mental Health and Disability Services (MH/DS) Regions is now available, as well as updated contacts for each region.... Read more
Some years, the Iowa legislative session is like a sprint, and other years it's more like a marathon.  This year, legislators promised it would be a... Read more
Iowa's mental health and disability services (MH/DS) system has been a work in progress for nearly two decades.  Over the last two years, the Iowa... Read more
By law, Iowa legislators can spend 99% of the money it collects in taxes for the year. But this year a group of legislators agreed not to spend more... Read more
Lawmakers have spent a lot of time over the last two years trying to find ways to prevent bullying in schools, and by students using social media. ... Read more
Whenever the state or federal government wants to make big changes to services, they usually ask what the public thinks about those changes before... Read more
Legislators are public servants - they serve the public for very little pay, and are away from their families for months while working at the... Read more
ID Action is always breaking new ground - this time by sponsoring a 2014 ID Action Self-Advocacy Conference this fall in Coralville. The conference... Read more
You can check out disability-related bills (including budget bills) that were passed by the Legislature this year in the infoNET Bill Tracker.  All... Read more
The Iowa Legislature finished up its work in the pre-dawn hours of May 1. Our final legislative session report will be available here by Monday, May... Read more
The Senate voted on its version of the Health and Human Services Budget, which includes money to eliminate Medicaid waiver waiting lists and provide... Read more
As you may have already realized, the Iowa Legislature did not end its 2014 legislative session before Easter.  At the current time, it looks like... Read more
There are normally ten budget bills, but this year there is an additional one that legislators may use for some one-time spending for short term... Read more
The Health and Human Services Budget (House File 2463) passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee late Thursday afternoon (April 17). The... Read more
Click here for a copy of this issue in PDF format. Read more
The Iowa House voted on this early version of the Health and Human Services Budget Bill (House File 2463), which includes over $4 million to buy-down... Read more
Every night of the legislative session, legislators "adjourn" for the day.  The Legislature is closing in on what is called "adjournment sine die" -... Read more
The Legislature must pass eleven budget bills this year - and all but two are now in progress. Here is a quick run-down of where things are at, and... Read more
Governor Terry Branstad signed Senate File 2320, which makes sure Iowans with disabilities have options to self-direct their care.  Last year, the... Read more
Only ten legislators have people running against them in the primary election on June 3, 2014.  Every day these legislators are in Des Moines at the... Read more
You can check out disability-related bills (including budget bills) that are still under consideration in the infoNET Bill Tracker.   We update the... Read more
The nearly $2 billion Health and Human Services Budget (House File 2463) passed out of the House Appropriations Committee this week, and is ready for... Read more
This bill continues to allow Iowans with disabilities to self-direct their care, by getting rid of a legislative direction to end the Consumer... Read more
The Iowa Legislature is now entering its final month of session, with key legislators saying they still hope to wrap things up by Easter (April 20).  ... Read more
It may not seem like a big accomplishment, but it was big news when the Democrat-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House announced they... Read more
The Health and Human Services Budget Subcommittee met last week to allow all members to express their priorities for the budget.  Throughout the... Read more
Another big event occurred last week that was weighing on the minds of a lot of legislators - candidate filing deadlines were Friday, March 14.  Now,... Read more
Perhaps we jinxed this bill, after getting excited over the strong advocacy that helped breathe life into a bill that most had thought was long dead. ... Read more
Senate File 2284 requires gas stations to provide refueling assistance to customers with disabilities upon request, post appropriate signs to explain... Read more
Bills that survived the funnel include the bill making clarifying changes made last year to the Consumer Directed Attendant Care (CDAC) program, a... Read more
Most legislators hold public forums and town hall meetings when they are back in their districts on Fridays and Saturdays. These are ways they keep in... Read more
Click here to get this issue in PDF. Read more
The Crisis Stabilization Bill (House File 2379) opens the doors for MH/DS regions to begin operating crisis stabilization units that are alternatives... Read more
The Iowa Legislature has hit the halfway point in the legislative session, and the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate... Read more
It's been a very quiet session.  Not much politics, which is a bit surprising since half of the Iowa Senate and all of the Iowa House of... Read more
If you have things to say about the mental health services available to Iowa kids, now is your chance!  The Iowa Department of Human Services has a... Read more
There is a lot going on with mental health and disability services (MH/DS) redesign - and not alot.  On the surface, it looks like there isn't much... Read more
There was a pleasant surprise at the end of the first funnel - a bill held-over from last year suddenly emerged from the Senate Agriculture... Read more
Iowa is one of four states selected by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to help identify core competencies for direct... Read more
The House and Senate have agreed to spend a total of $6.972 billion in the fiscal year 2015 (which begins July 1, 2014). That amount would represent a... Read more
Check out disability-related bills that have been introduced so far this year  - click here to go to our Bill Tracker.  Status has been updated - all... Read more
Legislators like to keep in contact with their constituents during the session, but it can be tough to do while they are in Des Moines most of the... Read more
You can download a formatted version of this email in PDF by clicking here. Read more
Deadline week at the Capitol ended early this week when reports of the “snow storm of the year” came out.  The House rushed through... Read more
Several legislators met in the fall to consider ways to protect vulnerable Iowans from abuse, neglect, and exploitation, particularly financial... Read more
Both the House and Senate saved bills that give Iowans with disabilities two options in self-directing their care. These bills both preserve options... Read more
Check out disability-related bills that have been introduced so far this year  - click here to go to our Bill Tracker. NOTE: It will take us a few... Read more
Advocacy doesn't have to take much time.  Here are a couple of really effective and easy ways to let your elected officials know what is important to... Read more
It seems like the Iowa Legislature just started it's work, but with the shortened 90-day schedule, legislators are now one-third of the way through... Read more
The Health and Human Services Budget Subcommittee met last week to talk about how the redesign of the mental health and disability services system was... Read more
Bullying of children with disabilities is significant but there is very little research to document it.  According to the Parent Advocacy Coalition... Read more
Sometimes legislators pass bills that they think are good, but turn out to be a problem when they become law.  That's the case with legislation passed... Read more
The Iowa Legislature is back in session.  Even though they worked only six days in the last two weeks, legislators have already introduced 270 new... Read more
During the opening week of Iowa's 2014 legislative session, Governor Terry Branstad rolled out his budget requests for fiscal year 2015, which starts... Read more
The Legislature took action on its first day to speed up the session (normally set for 100 days, ending April 22), by moving all timetables up by two... Read more
Check out disability-related bills that have been introduced so far this year - click here to go to our Bill Tracker. Read more
Our popular Guide to the Iowa Legislature has been updated and reprinted, and was mailed this week to all of our readers that have given us their... Read more
ID Action is accepting Local Capitol Day grant applications for the 2014 Legislative session. Local Capitol Day grants support advocacy groups that... Read more
Click here to get a PDF of this issue. Read more
The New Year is here, and with it comes a new legislative session. Legislative leaders in both House and Senate, both Democrat and Republican, are... Read more
The Arc of Iowa’s mission is to ensure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities receive the services, supports and... Read more
The Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) represents county officials of all types, so their legislative agenda is very long. Here are their... Read more
The Mental Health and Disability Services (MH/DS) Commission is an eighteen-­âmember state policy-­âmaking body that makes recommendations... Read more
This group represents 35 public transit systems that provide local transit services in all of the state’s 99 counties. Their website... Read more
The Iowa Association of Community Providers promotes quality services for children and adults with disabilities living in their communities.... Read more
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI/Greater Des Moines), the Mental Health Planning Council, and AMOS (A Mid-­âIowa Organizing Strategy)... Read more
The Children’s Services Work Group is one of the few remaining MH/DS Redesign Work Groups still meeting to discuss ways to develop a stronger... Read more
The Federal government has approved Iowa's alternative plan to provide health insurance to low-­âincome Iowans. Iowans earning up to 138% of... Read more
NETWORK NEWS: Local Capitol Day Grants ID Action is accepting Local Capitol Day grant applications for the 2014 Legislative session. Local Capitol... Read more
Click here to get a PDF of this issue. Read more
The two biggest national news stories this month were the federal government shutdown and the problems with the online health insurance marketplace... Read more
You've probably heard a lot of people talking about how government can't seem to do anything right. Everywhere you turn - the television news to the... Read more
The legislative rumor mill is alive and well, even though legislators are back in their home districts preparing for the 2014 legislative session to... Read more
Legislative sessions held in election years are always tricky.  Legislators are very aware of the votes they are taking, and how those votes may be... Read more
When it comes to Medicaid and Mental Health/Disability Services Redesign, the road to change is rarely smooth.  While legislators say they hope to... Read more
The Iowans with Disability in Action (ID Action) network does not take positions on issues, but we do encourage people to take action on the issues... Read more
Last year, we provided our readers with two new resources - the Advocate's Guide to Mental Health and Disability Services Redesign and the 2013 Guide... Read more
The Mental Health and Disability Services Redesign Fiscal Viability Committee is the official name of the interim committee that will oversee the... Read more
Legislators have decided to study 10 issues more in depth this fall.  Every year, legislators decide which issues they want to talk about over the... Read more
After five public hearings and a two-month period for written testimony, the Department of Human Services (Iowa Medicaid Enterprise) and Governor... Read more
WHO IS ELIGIBLE? Iowans age 19-64 earning between 0-100% of the federal poverty level (FPL), who are not otherwise eligible for Medicaid.  If a person... Read more
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?Iowans age 19-64 earning between 101-138% of the federal poverty level (FPL), who are not otherwise eligible for Medicaid and do not... Read more
WHAT WAIVERS DID THE STATE ASK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO APPROVE?Not surprisingly, the federal government puts strings on the money it gives to states... Read more
Don’t forget to take our 2013 Reader Survey! You should have received a copy of the survey in the mail within the last two weeks.  We know you... Read more
We will provide more coverage on MHDS Redesign as the interim committees begin to explore ongoing issues. Right now, DHS has written rules that... Read more
Check all that apply.  Are you: ___ Not currently eligible for Medicaid?___ Age 19-64?___ Earn less than $15,414/year, or $31,809/year for family of... Read more
The legislative session isn’t really over until the Governor either signs or vetoes the bills sent to him.  In Iowa, the Governor has 30 days... Read more
  Legislative Action Final Action (Governor) Per Capita Equalization (funds to 54 counties) $29.8 million $29.8... Read more
As mentioned before, the Governor signed into law the Iowa Health and Wellness Program that was adopted by the Legislature in the final days of the... Read more
 What to know what other appropriations and bills were signed into law?  Here are a few options: Click here for a custom list of bills signed into... Read more
Iowa's 2013 legislative session has come to a close - three weeks after the scheduled end of the session.  Just three weeks ago people wondered how... Read more
One of the most difficult issues for Iowa lawmakers this year was tied to the very political "Affordable Care Act" (also known as "ObamaCare").  The... Read more
If you were successful in your advocacy this year, and got a bill passed, don't stop now!  It may feel like a final victory when your bill gets the... Read more
Advocacy during the legislative session has its pluses and minuses. During the four (or so) months of the legislative session, you can find your... Read more
One of the most important rules in advocacy is to remember to say thanks.  If a legislator helped out on your issue, or voted the way you asked, it is... Read more
After session-long debate over funding for the ongoing redesign of the mental health and disability services system, legislators came to a... Read more
The Redesign Work Group that addressed issues involving the courts and public safety recommended what many thought was a small change - make the... Read more
The Legislature left town without touching the state's $600 billion surpus, and increased spending for the next year by only 4%. Here is a quick... Read more
The infoNET Bill Tracker tracks many bills of interest to Iowans affected by disability.  The "active" bills listed in the tracker are those passed by... Read more
This is the final compromise on Medicaid expansion, which expands Medicaid to those earning up to 100% of the federal poverty level, and pays premiums... Read more
The Standings Bill (SF 452) included the $29.8 million promised in last year's redesign of the mental health and disability services system. These... Read more
The Standings Bill (SF 452) included the $29.8 million promised in the redesign of the mental health and disability services system. These funds are... Read more
Our next issue of INFONET will be ready by Friday, May 31, 2013.  Check back, or read our archived issues here. Read more
As reported earlier, the Legislature has really cleaned house and left very little on its "to do" list. There is little other than the big issues that... Read more
Less than half of the people that signed up to speak at a public hearing on Medicaid expansion Tuesday night (April 16) were able to make their points... Read more
The Senate passed a budget that spends $2.3 billion on various health and human services programs, including Medicaid.  That's an increase of about... Read more
With just two weeks left in the legislative session, legislators have not made much headway in finishing up discussions on the really tough issues... Read more
Senate File 440 provides $42.8 million for regional non-Medicaid services and makes changes suggested by several redesign work groups. Passes... Read more
It is clear that redesigning the state's Mental Health and Disability Services (MH/DS) system is a multi-year process.  While the Legislature passed... Read more
Governor Terry Branstad quietly signed a bill that will quickly get $11.6 million out to 26 counties having trouble maintaining services as the... Read more
The Senate Judiciary Committee made sure that an important piece of the ongoing redesign of the MH/DS system survived today's (April 5) funnel... Read more
Advocating Change Day has always been about breaking barriers. But this year, it may have been about breaking records.  More than 600 Iowans with... Read more
The second and final legislative deadline (called a "funnel") hit on Friday, April 5, and with it went hundreds of bills that failed to make it... Read more
The Legislature wrapped up its 12th week of work this week, leaving only four weeks left to negotiate complex issues like education reform, property... Read more
 It's common for long-time advocates to 'burn out,' getting tired of the roller coaster ups and downs of advocacy.  Then there are those advocates... Read more
The Governor's long-awaited Medicaid expansion alternative was released on Thursday (April 4).  Below is a very quick review of this "Healthy Iowa... Read more
If you look up the definition of tenacious or tireless, you might just see a picture of Cambridge native Angie Plager.  This year, Angie was named the... Read more
Each year, the Iowa Legislature passes eleven budget bills, each funding a different area of the state's nearly $6.5 billion budget.  Budget work is... Read more
The Senate has scheduled debate on Senate File 296, the bill that expands Medicaid to any Iowan earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level.  This... Read more
While legislators are not doing much in committees or debate on Mental Health and Disability Services (MH/DS) Redesign, we know that there are many... Read more
As we move closer to the April 5 "funnel" deadline, committees will start to make decisions about which bills will live, and which will be set aside... Read more
The 2013 session enters its final trimester this week, with only six weeks left before legislators stop getting paid.  That means the past two weeks... Read more
As we prepare to "spring ahead" and set our clocks for daylight savings time this weekend, the Iowa Legislature is also preparing to move ahead. ... Read more
State government budgeting is a session-long process. It starts with the Governor presenting his budget requests.  Then each of the seven budget... Read more
Clean-up after a funnel deadline is like clean-up after a funnel cloud - there is a lot of scattered debries and it takes some time to pick through... Read more
The Legislature is making quite a bit of progress on many of the unresolved issues around the redesign of the state's mental health and disability... Read more
Medicaid Expansion got a new number (Senate File 296) when it came out of committee this week (beating the funnel).  The bill expands Medicaid to... Read more
You've heard a lot about it - the "sequester" - those automatic federal budget cuts that went into effect last week because Congress failed to work... Read more
Today (February 22) marks the 40th day of the legislative session.  While we are now one-third of the way through the 110-day session, lawmakers still... Read more
Over the summer, a group of legislators, county officials, advocates, providers, and others met to discuss issues related to the transition to the new... Read more
The legislature may be able to reach consensus soon on transition funding for the non-Medicaid services system, but there are still many other... Read more
The Governor has released his budget, and it does not include funding for the regional non-Medicaid mental health and disability services system.  No... Read more
You have probably heard alot recently about the "transition" from the old (county-based) to the new (regional) mental health and disability services... Read more
The Iowa Legislature tabled discussion on two contraversial issues last year, but they are back again this year. Voters would be required to show a... Read more
When legislators redesigned the Mental Health and Disability Services (MH/DS) system last year, they knew they left alot undone.  They set up a... Read more
More than 50 organizations came together last week to urge the Iowa Legislature to take action and expand the state's Medicaid program as allowed... Read more
The Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, ID Action and Polk County Health Services invite you to participate in Advocating for Change Day... Read more
The House Appropriations Committee voted this bill (HSB 103 - now HF 160) out of committee on Wednesday, February 6, 2013.  The following... Read more
Following the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on mental health, Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids challenged others in the Legislature to take... Read more
Last year, the Iowa Legislature passed a massive redesign of the Mental Health & Disability Services System.  The changes go into affect over several... Read more
Iowa is one of only three states with a divided legislature (that is, Republicans control one chamber and Democrats control the other). If the Iowa... Read more
infoNET has added a new tool to your advocacy toolbox - the Grassroots Advocacy Center.  You do not need to know the names of your legislators, the... Read more
You can find bills of interest to Iowans affected by disability here.  We update our bill list daily, adding new bills and changing them as they move... Read more
Local advocacy is the best advocacy. Your legislators come home to their legislative districts on Fridays-Sundays during the legislative district, and... Read more
Senator Rob Hogg (D-Cedar Rapids) has had enough talk.  He wants to see the Iowa Legislature take action this year to make sure Iowa's jails, prisons,... Read more
Legislators returned to Des Moines to begin their work on January 14, 2013.  Top on their "to do" lists are: Passing a new two-year... Read more
Governor Terry Branstad presented a new two-year budget to lawmakers on Tuesday, January 15, during his annual "Condition of the State" speech.... Read more
For many years, we have published special issues of infoNET at the start of each legislative session with information on new legislators, committee... Read more
The Des Moines Register reported this week that Iowa may have been the only state in the nation to have better voter turnout this year than in 2008... Read more
It may seem like the campaign season would never end, and your vote was the end of that very long process.  While it is certainly the end of all the... Read more
Iowa’s two US Senators didn’t face the voters this year, but all of Iowa’s US Representatives did, and one won’t be returning... Read more
Before the election, Democrats controlled the Iowa Senate with 26 seats. After the election, Democrats control the Iowa Senate with 26 seats. So the... Read more
Now that the election is over, you are probably starting to hear all sorts of news reports about lame ducks, fiscal cliffs and a “grand... Read more
The Mental Health and Disability Services (MH/DS) Redesign Transition Committee will meet for a final time on Tuesday, November 20 to finalize its... Read more
“Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is... Read more
SF 2315 - Mental Health & Disabilities Services System Reform (Regionalization, Core Services, Funding Responsibilities Reassigned)  Passed House... Read more