The View From Here

State Senator Dennis Guth

Week ten was a week of hurry up and wait for me. I had one committee each day with very few bills in each committee.

One bill that we chose not to take up was HF 2391, which would have placed a cap on what health care employment agencies could charge a facility for traveling nurses. This was requested by some nursing homes that have been challenged by staff shortages and very high rates to get temporary staff especially during Covid. Covid is now behind us, and those rates have declined some, but are still high enough to be a significant drain on budgets and morale among permanent staff. My concern was if we place caps on wages charged by an agency, then one or many agencies may be unwilling to provide the temporary staff we need. In his book, The Wealth of Nations published in 1776, Adam Smith taught our Founders about how a nation builds wealth through free markets. Those principles still bear fruit today.

One of the higher profile bills passed before this week’s legislative deadline was House File 2319. This bill prohibits local governments from creating and funding programs commonly known as universal basic income or guaranteed income. A guaranteed income program in a central-Iowa city has caught the attention of the Legislature and taxpayer-advocate groups.

One of America’s founding principles is the belief in work and limited government. Those principles created the greatest country and economy in the history of the world. Basic income programs have more in common with the economic system of the failed Soviet Union than they do with the enduring principles of the United States of America. I am glad to see HF 2319 support those principles.

The greatest part of my week was spent visiting with many constituents at the Capitol. I met with the directors of many Rural Electric Coops that came to visit. I’ve known some of these folks for a number of years, and they keep me informed and on track with rural Iowa. I also had county supervisors and many local courthouse officials, who I appreciate, encourage me to remember their concerns as we legislate. I also had visits from homeschoolers and physical therapists.

You probably noticed that I referenced some of our founding principles today. I have quoted Sir Edmund Burke (1729-1797) before as saying, “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” He is also known for the statement, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." Burke was a British statesman and philosopher who is generally viewed as the philosophical founder of modern political conservatism. I think his wisdom is just as true today as when our nation was founded and I try to remember those ideas when I consider legislation.

 I will be holding a town hall meeting on Saturday, March 23 at Central College in Webster City at 11:00.



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