Iowa Business Council Meets, Discusses Priorities with Iowa Congressional Delegation
The Iowa Business Council (IBC) held its third quarter meeting this month and hosted a Congressional panel discussion with Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Congresswoman Cindy Axne (D-IA 3rd District). Comprised of the 22 largest Iowa-based employers in Iowa, including UnityPoint Health, the discussion focused on federal infrastructure legislation, prescription drug costs and workforce, among other topics. Clay Holderman, President & Chief Executive Officer for UnityPoint Health, and Ashley Thompson, Director of Government & External Affairs for UnityPoint Health, discussed potential opportunities for supporting critical health care workforce needs and collaborative efforts with UnityPoint Health colleges and other training and educational institutions in the state.
Legislative Special Session Set for Iowa Redistricting Process
As shared in last month’s UnityPoint Health Iowa Update, the decennial process for redrawing Iowa’s congressional and state legislative districts continues, with several key meetings and steps to occur in the coming weeks. Following the release of the first redistricting plan by the nonpartisan Iowa Legislative Services Agency (LSA) on September 16, the five-member Iowa Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission (TRAC) this week hosted three required public hearings as part of the state’s redistricting process. As part of this process, earlier this month Governor Reynolds announced a special legislative session on Tuesday, October 5 by which the Iowa General Assembly (legislature) will convene at the Iowa State Capitol to consider the maps and plan to be delivered by the LSA and TRAC. As outlined in state law, the Iowa House and Senate must vote to either accept or reject the maps as drawn. If maps are not approved by both chambers, the LSA and TRAC must complete the process a second time of redrawing the maps and holding required public hearings before bringing forward a second plan for the legislature to consider. Should the second redistricting plan be rejected by the legislature, a third plan (following the same process as the first two plans) will be completed and presented; however, the legislature then has the ability to amend and approve the maps.
More information and updates about the redistricting process will be shared in future updates.
Governor Reynolds Issues New Public Health Emergency Proclamation, Announces Staff Changes
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on Friday, September 17 issued an updated Proclamation of Disaster Emergency that extends some regulatory relief for the COVID-19 pandemic for an additional 30 days. There are no significant changes that relate to health care or UnityPoint Health is in latest proclamation, with the exception of the addition of a previously expired section specific to employee background checks that has now been reissued under this latest proclamation.
The Reynolds Administration also announced changes to her team that have occurred over the past several months. Of note to health care is the addition of Clare Kelly as the governor’s new Health Policy Advisor, as well as the transition of Meaghan O’Brien from her prior role as a Deputy Health Policy Advisor to the Governor’s Director of State-Federal Relations, and Stephanie Groen, who previously held the State-Federal Relations role but will now serve as the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff.
For more information about State of Iowa advocacy, legislative, policy and regulatory issues of impact to UnityPoint Health, please contact Ashley Thompson, director of government & external affairs.