***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on the financial support of our readers to exist. Please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter at $5, $10/month - whatever you think we're worth! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News” — now YOU can actually DO something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250

Week six of the 2023 session remained busy in the Iowa Senate as we welcomed guests, met in committees and subcommittees, and worked on new solutions to help better our state.

During her Condition of the State address, Gov. Kim Reynolds shared her priority for making government “efficient, effective, and small again,” putting forward a major plan for realignment of departments this year. Last year, she merged the departments of Human Services and Public Health into the new Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. This action did not cost any employees their job nor did it downgrade any service. This action streamlined the organization and allowed for a tight-knit group to work closely together. Governor Reynolds wants to continue with this success by streamlining Iowa’s 37 cabinet agencies to 16. She has introduced Senate Study Bill 1123 to accomplish this goal. This week, SSB 1123 continued making its way through the legislative process. It has already had several subcommittees to ensure affected parties can speak and we can receive public input. It has been nearly 40 years since Iowa has taken a comprehensive view of its government structure and now is the time for change. The goal of this bill will be to reduce unnecessary friction among agencies, improve efficiency and collaboration, and prevent government from enlarging.

We also had a little floor debate this week. One notable bill, Senate File 75, creates a new license for hospitals, called rural emergency hospitals (REH). A rural emergency hospital means a facility that provides rural emergency health services 24/7 and does not provide any inpatient acute care. This designation would help stabilize rural hospitals that may be struggling and help bring in more money through Medicare. This bill also included state licensure of ambulatory surgical centers to provide better transparency and enforcement of these health facilities. Health care access is a major concern in rural Iowa, and one we hear often about from constituents. Senate File 75, which passed the Senate 48-0, helps keep hospitals open in our rural communities and help ensures Iowans have access to important health care services.

Please join me with my good friends Rep. John Forbes, Rep. Dan Gehlbach, and Rep. Eddie Andrews at our upcoming forums sponsored by the Great Urbandale Chamber of Commerce on the following dates:

-Saturday February 25th 10:30 am.-12pm. Urbandale Chamber Office

-Saturday, March 25th 10:30 am.-12pm. Urbandale Chamber office

-Saturday, April 29th 10:30-12pm. Urbandale Chamber Office

Urbandale Chamber Office is located at 2830 100th Street Suite #110 Urbandale, seats will be limited, virtual attendance option as well.

Below is the link to attend in person or through Zoom:


Author: Brad Zaun


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here