MY COMMITMENT TO YOU
I'm Dan Kelley, a long-time resident of Jasper County. I serve in the Iowa House representing the 29th District. I am commited to being your voice in the Statehouse!
Rep. Dan Kelley, D-Newton, was interviewed for a news story that aired on WHO-TV about the city of Melbourne's lack of a tornado siren and Kelley's legislation that would establish a state fund to assist all communities in Iowa to provide emergency early warning systems for their residents.
Earlier this month, Kelley introduced House File 408, an act that would require each city in the state to have an operable emergency warning system and sets up a state grant fund to which cities could apply to finance the installation or upgrade of their systems.
The bill, which will not be acted upon this legislative session after it failed to pass out of committee prior to the funnel deadline, would require that all cities, at a minimum, have an operable tornado siren in place by July 1, 2018.
The measure also appropriates a total of $15 million to the Iowa Homeland Security department to establish a grant program for cities to apply for funding the installation or update of emergency warning systems.
Kelley said he was uncertain how many communities in the state do not have emergency warning sirens. The measure also calls for a study on the city emergency warning system needs of the state.
Statehouse News (April 12, 2013)
Iowans are encouraged to share their views at a special public hearing next week on a plan to expand affordable health care to 150,000 Iowans. The hearing will be Tuesday, April 16, in the Iowa House of Representatives at 5:30 p.m. Iowans who wish to participate can call 515-281-5129 to speak at the public hearing or email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is one of the top issues in the Legislature this year.
Senate File 296 expands affordable health care to 150,000 Iowans who don’t currently have insurance through their employer. It would only be available to Iowans with annual incomes below 138% of the federal poverty level ($15,856 for a single person or $32,488 for a family of four). The federal government would pay the full cost of the first three years and then pay at least 90% of all costs after that. The bill also includes an automatic opt-out of the expansion plan if the federal government does not keep its promise on funding.
The Governor introduced a different health care plan to the Legislature late last week. An analysis of the two plans found the Governor’s plan covers fewer Iowans and costs more (see table below). It would cost Iowa taxpayers $163 million annually while also requiring additional federal dollars compared to just expanding Medicaid. The Governor’s alternative also requires federal approval, which is uncertain at this time.
If the Legislature does not take action, an estimated 69,000 Iowans would lose health care they currently receive through the Iowa Cares program, which expires at the end of 2013. Read this week's Statehouse News.
Statehouse News (April 5, 2013)
Biodiesel use in Iowa has doubled over the last few years, from 13.9 million gallons in 2011 to over 23 million gallons in 2012, and it is offered at over 300 locations across Iowa. Biodiesel, which is made from agricultural waste and residue, is now blended in over 40% of the fuel sold in Iowa.
Iowa is the leading state in biodiesel production. With 15 biodiesel plants, Iowa can produce 325 million gallons of biodiesel per year. The industry adds about $470 million to Iowa’s economy annually and supports about 5,000 jobs.
Over the last decade, Iowa has worked to become a world leader in renewable energy with a goal of replacing 25 percent of petroleum based fuels with biofuels by 2020.
Statehouse News (March 21, 2013)
I recently had the benefit of meeting with members of the Newton Fire Department including Fire Chief Jarrod Wellik, Calvin Swank, and Tyler Harsselaar; Kerrigan Owen, 2013 State of Iowa VFW "Voice of Democracy" speech champion (pictured) and Travis Holden, 5th District Commander at the Statehouse (pictured); Roxanne Dass from Fix the Debt; and Iowa wrestling legend Dan Gable. Read this week's Statehouse News.
Statehouse News (March 15, 2013)
Among others I met this week were Mitch Henery of LULAC, Miss Irish Queen 2013 Kayla Joyce, Kim Joyce and Marcella Cocoran-Kennedy of the Irish Parliament; Herb Scott, Arlyn Vanzante and Richard Roordan of the Farm Bureau of Jasper County; and the Newton Christian Day School 7th and 8th Grades (pictured).
Renewable Energy Continues to Boost Iowa Economy
Iowa has become the first state to meet a national goal of generating at least 20% of its power from wind. According to the US Energy Information Administration, electricity generated from wind made up 24.5% of all electricity generated in Iowa. According to the Iowa Wind Energy Association, the wind energy industry employs 6,000 to 7,000 Iowans and produces enough power for over 1 million homes. Iowa is currently 3rd in the nation in total wind capacity. With an extension of a federal tax credit for wind energy earlier this year, more wind farms are expected in Iowa later this year.
New Research Shows Benefits of Early Childhood Education
A new cost-benefit analysis indicates that up to $16 is returned long-term for every $1 invested in a high-quality early childhood program. Although, the cost of preschool is generally about $3,500 to $4,000 per child annually, big long-term payoffs on their initial investment will benefit taxpayers as well as student achievement.
Read this week's Statehouse News.
Only look forward from this point on
Opinion editorial, Newton Daily News:
Tuesday, during the State of the Union Address, the President highlighted recent successes in manufacturing jobs and wind energy. Nationwide, nearly 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created since January of 2010.
This is the fastest three-year growth in more than a decade. New manufacturing opportunities have come in three primary sectors: automobiles, high-tech, and energy. These are certainly welcome statistics, but while our economy is gradually recovering, many Iowans continue to struggle to make ends meet.
No, the economic impact of the wind industry is not the equivalent of our former major employer. However, at this point, we must look only to the future and focus on job growth by promoting the industries who have chosen to call Jasper County home and encouraging other employers to make the same decision.
That’s my focus and I’m committed to keeping it. Let’s all commit to only looking forward from this point on, with our heads held high and faith in our ability to build a bright future.
The Newton plant is one of many wind-tower producing plants operated by Trinity. With all their manufacturing facilities combined, they have more capacity than any other wind tower manufacturer in North America. Their resources give them the ability to expand as necessary to meet the needs of their customers.
The parent company, Trinity Industries, Inc., is a multi-industry company that owns a variety of market-leading businesses which provide products and services to the industrial, energy, transportation and construction sectors. Trinity’s businesses provide capital goods and services ranging from railcars to barges, concrete to propane tanks, highway guardrail to structural towers, railcar parts to crash cushions, railcar fleet management, and railcar leasing services. It’s a large company with a strong foothold in several areas of manufacturing.
The Newton plant operates as a partnership between Trinity and the workers who organized in 2010 through IBEW Local 347. The goal of this partnership is to secure the plant’s future, progressively ensuring safe, quality, local jobs in the competitive and growing wind industry.
With the recent one-year extension of the wind production tax credits, these partners have a genuine chance to succeed. The wind production tax credit provides a 2.2 percent per kilowatt-hour credit for the first 10 years of electricity production from utility-scale wind-turbines, like those built in Newton.
It is important to note that the entire Iowa Congressional Delegation, especially Congressman Loebsack, helped to push their colleagues to extend the federal wind-production tax credits. Many wind energy proponents, myself included, had hoped for at least a two-year extension. We didn’t get it, yet. It’s possible another extension could be authorized by Congress.
I’m doing my part at the Capitol in Des Moines. This week, I submitted a resolution in the Iowa House calling on Washington to approve an additional two-year extension. What can you do? I’d like to encourage you to reach out to U.S. House members Congressman Tom Latham at 1-866-428-5642 and Congressman Steve King at (712) 224-4692.
They are in a position to tell U.S. House Speaker Boehner how important it is to Jasper County’s future that he put an extension on the President’s desk. The President knows it’s critical, and he will sign it.
Statehouse News (February 22, 2013)
The Iowa House approved a scaled back version of the Governor’s education reform bill this week after a non-partisan analysis of the plan found the Governor didn’t provide enough money for implementation in over 60% of Iowa schools.
To deal with the shortfall, the House majority party lowered beginning teacher salaries from $35,000 to $32,000 and made reform efforts optional. The bill approved still shortchanges 130 school districts if they decide to participate in reform efforts. Several lawmakers offered a plan to provide the full cost of reform efforts to schools, but it was not adopted. (Read more.)
Photo: I welcomed Debby and Issac Pence of IFAPA (Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association) on the House Floor on Febrary 19th, 2013.
Statehouse News (February 15, 2013)
I recently met with Troy Anderson and two of the CRNAs from Skiff Medical Center in Newton at the Iowa Association of Nurse Anesthetists Reception, (pictured). Also, I was visited by Morgan Iske, Decon Pearson, Kelsi Engleken of the FCCLA; by MICA family development specialists Brooke Nott and Sheree Andrews for FaDDS day on the Hill; by Christina Kuecker, and Pam St. John of Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa; by Renewable Energy Groups' Lab Coordinator Rebecca Blair and EHS Coordinator Bill Cobbs; by Newton Board of Realtors representatives Koni Bunse, Vice President Deb Cross, Duane Rozendaal, President Les Morgan, State Delegate Krista Clark and Stuart Oaretsingeron; by ABATE Members from district 9 Allen Anthony, Jim Robinson, Seated Scott Deeter, Marc VanMaanen, Tammie Deeter, Shelly VanMaanen and John Frimmal; and by others. I enjoy learning about issues and concerns at the Statehouse from knowledgeable constituents and other advocates and professionals.
Statehouse News (February 8, 2013)
House Approves $60 Million in Tax Cuts for Middle Class, Small Businesses
The Iowa House approved the first bill of the session this week that will provide $60 million in tax cuts to create new jobs and opportunities for working families. The changes approved this week are mostly due to the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which Congress passed at the beginning of the New Year. (Read more.)
Expanding Affordable Health Care to More Iowans
According to a recent non-partisan poll, nearly 60% of all Iowans support expanding health care coverage to cover uninsured and underinsured adults who do not have private health insurance. (Read more.)
Photo: I met with Team Neutrino from Ames, and robot Optimus Climb at the Capitol for STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) Day on the Hill on February 6, 2013.
Statehouse News (February 1, 2013)
Condition of the Iowa Guard
Major General Timothy E. Orr, Adjutant Major of the Iowa National Guard, delivered the annual Condition of the Guard to the Iowa Legislature this week. General Orr focused his comments on the work the soldiers and airmen have done in Iowa and around the world as well as the transition back into the workforce for returning soldiers and airmen. (Read more.)
Iowa Superintendents: School Funding Delay Hurts Student Achievement
Over 87% of Iowa school superintendents say aid to local schools must be set by March 1st or earlier to avoid teacher layoffs, crowded classes, and harm to student achievement. Superintendents also unanimously (99%) believe that education dollars would be used more effectively if the state returned to setting basic aid to education a year and a half in advance. (Read more.)
Photos: With Major General Timothy E. Orr, Adjutant Major of the Iowa Nation Guard, and Minister of Kosovo Secrurity Force, Agim Ceku; below: with Tami and Jenny from the Iowa Speedway during the Iowa Tourism Showcase on Wednesday, January 29, 2013.
Statehouse News (January 25, 2013)
Here are some of the headlines from the Statehouse this week:
Veterans Day on the Hill; Education Reform Hearings Begin; Insurance Commissioner Approves Another Wellmark Rate Increase; Governor Proposes Property Tax Changes; Iowa Economy Steadily Improves; Motorcycle Safety Forum Set for April 26; State Patrol Accepts Grant for Distracted Driving Simulators; Federal Tax Changes Result in Higher State Revenues; Soil Conservation and Water Quality. (Read more.)
Photo: Patriot Outreach, Midwest Director Lee Booten and National Director Col. Antonio Monaco. I helped pass a bi-partisan resolution in the House honoring the organization’s work in supporting troops suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.
KCOB discussion about the legislative session
I was interviewed by KCOB News Director Randy Van in a two-part discussion on the start of the legislative session. To listen, click here, scroll down to the December 22 & 29 interviews and click the play button.
Newton manufacturers give input to legislators about skilled worker shortage
Iowa ranks fifth out of the 50 states in manufacturing as a percentage of its gross domestic product. But, as more baby boomers prepare to retire and leave the workforce, Iowa’s strong manufacturing sector could be in danger.
“We have a skilled labor shortage,” Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal told a group of more than two dozen Newton manufacturing executives and community leaders during a town hall meeting Thursday afternoon at the Newton Development Corporation office.
DMACC President Rob Denson...said DMACC currently offers 150 programs, all of which are full and have waiting lists, despite some programs offering classes around the clock.
“We can only create so many students at a time,” he said. “Each class can only have about 16 students, based on accreditation and space constraints.”
(Photo: Iowa State Sen. Dennis Black, Iowa State Rep. Dan Kelley and Newton Community Development Director Bryan Friedman listen as Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (second from left) speaks about the need to fill Iowa's "skilled worker gap." (Bob Eschliman/Daily News))
Kelley named ranking member of House subcommittee
Newton Independent: Rep. Dan Kelley, D-Newton, was named the Iowa House Democratic Party ranking member of the Administration and Regulation Appropriations Subcommittee by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Des Moines.
McCarthy on Wednesday announced the party's ranking members for 20 standing committees and seven appropriation subcommittees. Democrats hold 47 of the 100 House seats.
"The team we've assembled to lead committees will be ready to hit the ground running in January and put aside the partisanship to keep focused on jobs and other issues important to middle-class families," McCarthy said in announcing the assignments.
Letter to the Editor by Dan Kelley
I appreciate the support my campaign received during the recent election. Thank you for re-electing me as State Representative.
Thank you to campaign donors and volunteers. Your efforts secured a wide-margin of victory on Election Day.
Congratulations to all candidates who were successful in their efforts and thanks to everyone who stepped forward to run for office. Thanks, Gabe, for a spirited, yet respectful, discussion of the issues. I wish you and your family the best. I look forward to our ‘post-election dinner’ and it’s on me.
Again, I am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving as State Representative, this time in the new House District 29. I’m proud to represent my hometown, Newton, as well as Baxter, Mingo, Kellogg, Ira, Valeria, Lambs Grove, and Oakland Acres.
I’m especially excited to represent the new towns in my district; Colfax and Prairie City. To my former constituents in Lynnville, Sully, Reasnor, and Killduff, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to represent and meet you.
I will continue to work for the benefit of the entire county, and I will build a good working-relationship with your new State Representative Greg Heartsill.
While the legislative session begins in January, serving in the Iowa House is a year-round job. Feel free to contact me anytime at (641) 521-9260 or email@example.com, or visit my website at www.electkelley.com.
2012 “Champion of Renewable Fuels” award from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.
I am proud of my record in the legislature expanding the use and production of renewable fuels. I'm grateful to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association for being presented with a 2012 "Champion of Renewable Fuels" award. As pointed out by the Newton Daily News:
A Great Experience at the Toll Fellow Leadership Program
I was excited to be one of 40 emerging state leaders from across the nation who met for the Toll Fellowship Program Leadership conference sponsored by The Council of State Governments.
The program includes a week-long seminar named in honor of Henry Toll, a Colorado senator who founded CSG in 1933. This year's program was held in Lexington, Ky., and focused on trends analysis, policy development, crisis management and leadership and institutional changes.
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Paid for by Dan Kelley for State Representative, P.O. Box 333, Newton, IA 50208. Copyright Dan Kelley for State Representative.