Greetings from the Statehouse: Addressing licensing and clinical privileges of physicians, more

By Michael Bergan, Iowa House District 55

It was a busy time this week, filled with many subcommittee meetings deciding which bills to move forward. Of particular note from the subcommittees I worked on was HF 2210, which seeks to address licensing and clinical privileges of physicians by providing them with an accessible path to receiving mental health support. HF 2207, a bill I introduced this session relating to license renewal for retirement age electricians, also made it through subcommittee and the committee as a whole. Next week begins a part of the legislative process where bills are funneled, causing some to be left behind if they are not voted out of committee. By having the bills move through committee, it ensures they survive the funnel. The Capitol was also visited by numerous groups this week, including many physicians who were here for Physician Day on the Hill. 

Bills this week

As stated earlier, this week saw many bills move out of subcommittee to their respective committees, and some even passed on to the floor. Here are a few examples of bills I worked on that moved forward this week. 

HF 2272: This bill creates a multi-state compact with Iowa’s neighbors, allowing social workers, particularly those who live on the border, to operate in member states without the need to apply for a license in the neighboring state. While the bill has made it out of subcommittee, it must be passed using identical language in other state legislatures before Iowa can join the compact.

HF 2020: I was a member of the subcommittee on HF 2020, a bill that relates to the annual appropriations for state government. In essence this bill will appropriate the funds necessary for the state government, similar to a contingency resolution, if the legislature does not timely pass a budget. 

HSB 648: Under HSB 648, an update of Iowa’s Accountable Government Act, the Department of Management is tasked with oversight of the various state agencies in the executive branch. The agencies are required to have a strategic plan, metrics, and measures, which are reported to the Department of Management which monitors and reports outcomes of state agencies.

Guests at the Capitol

Compared to last week, this week was relatively calm when it came down to visitors to our great Capitol. The highlights of the week were the large group of young physicians who came to see the Capitol and advocate for physician-related issues, such as those behind the need for HF 2210. The Capitol also played host to members of the American Lung Association, who were present in the House Chamber on Wednesday to witness the passage of HR 105. I also had the privilege of attending numerous off-campus receptions, most notably the Statewide Supervisors Meeting where I had the opportunity to speak with the county supervisors across the state, including Shirley Vermace of Winneshiek County. Lastly, I met with some of my constituents who were visiting for the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Partnership Day.

Visiting the Capitol?

It is always an honor to meet with constituents. If you are visiting the Capitol, kindly notify me of your intent to visit at michael.bergan@legis.iowa.gov. This will greatly assist me in the scheduling process.

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