Bergan Report

By: News Release
Apr 16th, 2019

https://www.legis.iowa.gov/photo?action=getPhoto&ga=88&pid=18044

Rep. Michael Bergan

House District 55

April 11th, 2019

Greetings from the State House

This week the House was busy with floor debate, focusing attention on budget bills and legislation that made it through the funnel process.  Two budget bills, HF765 Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund and SF600 Transportation Appropriations, received full house support with 100-0 votes.  The other budget bills are making their way through the process in the House.

House HHS Budget Includes Significant Funding for Mental Health


The House passed House File 766, the Health and Human Services Budget for FY2020. This budget appropriates a total of $1.94 billion from the state general fund to the Department on Aging, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Iowa Veterans Home. When combined with federal block grants, federal matching funds, and other revenue sources, the HHS budget tops $5 billion to fund human services in the state for the next fiscal year.


Importantly, this budget provides significant funding for mental health including an additional $1.2 million in state funding and total $3.1 million in funding next year to eliminate the waiting list for the children’s mental health home and community based services waiver. There are currently around 1,000 children on this waiting list, and this appropriation will allow these children and their families to receive much needed services close to home.


Additionally, this bill funds the single statewide 24-hour crisis hotline for all ages and funds our current and soon to be 22 Assertive Community Treatment teams statewide. This funding amounts to about $2.8 million that is currently being subsidized by the 14 Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS) Regions. This budget also addresses Polk County MHDS Region by allowing the county to transfer funds from other areas for one year, and provides a $5.2 million increase to Medicaid to pay for the additional mental health services passed last year, like Access Centers and Intensive Residential Service Homes, in the Mental Health Complex Needs Act (HF2456).


This budget also focuses on mental health workforce by funding 4 additional psychiatric residencies in rural communities and increases psychiatric training for physician assistants and nurse practitioners.


These increases are in addition to the status quo appropriation of $96 million to Iowa Medicaid for children’s mental health services, $1.4 million towards children’s systems of care, $2 million towards the Medical Residency Training State Matching Grants Program which has funded 8 new psychiatric medical residency slots in central Iowa, and continues the appropriation to Des Moines University to partner with NAMI to prepare family physicians and other medical providers to help those suffering from mental illness. There are also additional funds appropriated through the federal community mental health block grant, Iowa Medicaid, and Public Health for substance abuse, 1st Five, home visitation, and other mental health prevention work for Iowa children, to name a few.


House Republicans have made significant state investments into the state mental health system, and continue this important work with increases this year in the House HHS Budget as well as the Education Budget.

Iowa Utilities Board Takes Comments on Alliant’s Proposed Rate Increase


The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) has issued an order scheduling ten public comment meetings and approving customer notices, regarding an upcoming application by Alliant Energy-Interstate Power and Light Company (Alliant), for increases in its Iowa retail electric and natural gas rates.


The order, filed in dockets RPU-2019-0001 (electric) and RPU-2019-0002 (natural gas), sets the specific dates, times and locations for the public meetings at which Alliant customers and the general public may express their views about the proposed rate increases and the overall quality of Alliant’s service to representatives of Alliant, the IUB, and the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA). The OCA represents the general interests of customers in all Board proceedings.


In addition to attending and speaking at the public meetings, customers can submit comments online through the IUB’s electronic filing system at https://efs.iowa.gov/efs/ShowWelcome.do


The following public meetings are scheduled throughout Alliant’s Iowa service territory:


Creston: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at Southwest Community College, Performing Art Center, 1501 W. Townline St.

Marshalltown: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at Iowa Valley Education Center, 3702 S. Center St.

Storm Lake: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, at Buena Vista University, Science Center, 610 W. Fourth St.

Mason City: 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 2, at the Historic Park Inn, 7 W. State St.

Decorah: 6 p.m. Thursday, May 2, in the Hotel Winneshiek, 104 E. Water St.

Ottumwa: 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, at the Bridge View Center, 102 Church St.

West Burlington: 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 22, at Southeastern Community College, Building 300, 1500 W. Agency Road.

Clinton: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at Clinton Community College, Tech Center, 1951 Manufacturing Drive.

Dubuque: 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 23, at the Hotel Julien, 200 Main St.

Cedar Rapids: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at Kirkwood Community College, Main Campus, Iowa Hall, 6301 Kirkwood Boulevard S.W.

As we near the target end date of May 3 members are adjusting to a less predictable schedule to accommodate floor debate on bills and committee work of Appropriations and Ways and Means.  Thank you to all who take time to email with their support and concerns on pending legislation.

Very truly yours,

Representative Michael Bergan

Michael.Bergan@legis.iowa.gov



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