Legislators should maintain local control of county budgets

Legislation currently being considered by the Iowa Legislature would hinder the ability of local elected officials to make budget decisions to fund the programs and services their constituents depend on and desire. House File 773 would place an arbitrary 2% annual growth limitation on property tax revenue that a county or city could collect. Senate Study Bill 1260 would place the cap at 0% growth with the ability to go to 2% by resolution and 3% subject to reverse referendum. This one-size-fits-all limit does not consider the varying needs of Iowa’s 99 counties and their citizens.

Perhaps the result of limiting growth would be favorable to some property owners, but at what cost? We must consider what local governments provide with the funding from property taxes and how the programs and services benefit the taxpayer. Roads need to be repaired, bridges need to be maintained, criminals must be prosecuted and jailed, and the courthouse should be adequately staffed to meet your customer service needs when transacting government business like renewing your driver’s license or applying for a marriage certificate. County supervisors know very well and take very seriously the fact that when they set budgets and property tax levy rates they are asking their friends and neighbors to contribute financially for the good of the county and the beneficial services that the county provides to its residents.

Local budgetary decisions should remain local, with the elected officials that live and work in the communities they represent, not with legislators making statewide decisions. Supervisors know much better the needs and desires of their county, and if they fail in that charge, they stand for re-election every four years. Please ask your legislators to maintain local control, reject HF 773 and SSB 1260, and let county supervisors and city councilors make budget decisions that are right for their jurisdictions.

Iowa State Association of County Supervisors

The effects of methamphetamine use

As most already know, the opiate epidemic has been worsening, each year claiming more lives than the last. What is less known by the general public is the problem with Methamphetamines has been growing over the last several years as well.

In the most recent data from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, it was found an estimated 964,000 people age 12 or older had a methamphetamine use disorder. This large number of methamphetamine use can lead to some very serious problems in communities; higher crime rates, destroyed families, and the many risks to public health.

Methamphetamines are made by combining chemicals that can be explosive in bad cases as well as causing long term property damage from toxic chemicals.

Houses where a meth lab was in operation can retain chemicals which are hazardous to those who live in the house afterwards. In fact, even use of the drug within an apartment, home, or trailer can cause negative health effects long after the user or producer has moved one.

More and more communities each year deal with this problem and it is an expensive thing to repair, with decontamination costing thousands of dollars to inhabitants and landlords both. These problems are far from victimless with acute health effects that include lack of coordination, chest pains, and burns to skin, eyes, nose, and mouth. Possible chronic long-lasting problems may include respiratory irritability, neurological damage, and liver and kidney damage.

In these times it is important that families are aware of both the signs of methamphetamine use and abuse. In addition, community members need to be on the lookout for signs their house was used prior for methamphetamine production or use. To learn more about methamphetamine affected houses visit https://www.safewise.com/blog/tell-buying-meth-house/

For more information on signs of methamphetamine abuse, visit our website at https://www.narcononnewliferetreat.org/drug-abuse-information/signs-of-methamphetamine-abuse.html.

Luke Nichols

Denham Springs, Louisiana

Axne should support Medicare for All

This Medicaid madness has to stop. I know, because I’m on Medicaid.

When I was 50, one day I woke up and my joints started aching. It was hard to walk, it was hard to stand. Since then, I’ve been on various forms of Medicare and Medicaid Disability.

My experience with Medicaid has been mixed. While I’m glad to have healthcare, it’s been confusing and burdensome to keep up with all the changes since privatization.

Now I have to switch from Unitedhealthcare to either Amerigroup or Iowa Total Care. They don’t offer the same benefits I got from United. Hopefully I will still be able to see my same doctors and clinicians, unless they’re not “in network.”

Enough is enough. We can’t have varying levels of healthcare coverage for different segments of the population. We’re all in this together, and I believe healthcare is a human right.

It’s not enough to return Medicaid to state control. The time is now to implement Medicare for All and give everyone a comprehensive standard of care to live their lives and be valued members of society. And it’s time for my representative, Cindy Axne, to support Medicare for All.

Sonya Sayers

Des Moines

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