Let's protect SNAP

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is the nation’s most effective anti-hunger program. It helps 1 in 9 Iowans put food on the table and keeps nearly 70,000 Iowans out of poverty. 

Legislation governing SNAP is part of the Farm Bill, which expires in September and must be renewed. Harmful, partisan language that would take away or cut food assistance for many of the 360,000 Iowans who rely on SNAP to help make ends meet—over 70 percent of whom are in families with children—is making its way through the U.S. House right now. 

Please join us for a briefing webinar Monday, May 7 at 1 p.m. to learn more about SNAP proposals in Congress, where Iowa’s delegation stands, and how you can encourage Congress to pass a bipartisan Farm Bill that protects SNAP. 

Center staffers Anne Discher and Mary Nelle Trefz visited all six of Iowa's Congressional offices Thursday to talk SNAP. They met with folks in all four House offices and dropped information at our two Senate offices. 

Children's mental health

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an executive order Monday that could be the first step in formally establishing a children’s mental health system in Iowa. It creates a state board to develop and implement a children’s mental health system by identifying the target populations, covered services and long-term funding structures. The board will have the authority to create additional local boards to assist with the system.

It is an important step forward, reflecting years of tireless work and advocacy by many groups and individuals to assure that every Iowa child can access the mental-health services they need. Much work remains in the coming months and years to start building a comprehensive mental health system for Iowa’s children and families, building off the expertise of the Children’s Mental Health Advisory Council, policymakers, families and advocates.

Notes from the Iowa Capitol 

Here's a brief dispatch on the week from center policy director Sheila Hansen:

Those much-anticipated budget targets were finally released this week. Budget targets, given by the party leadership, provide direction to each of the appropriations committees’ budget chairs on how much they can appropriate to various state departments.  

Both chambers finally released all their budget bills, with one exception: health and human services. We are hearing the HHS bill—which governs many critical services for children and families—will come out as soon as Monday. The education budget includes status quo funding for three important early-childhood programs: Early Childhood Iowa, Shared Visions and Early Head Start. Look for a more detailed breakout in our next update. 

These steps bring us closer to adjournment. But the question still remains: how can Republicans still consider a tax cut and meet the targets while avoiding cuts to vital services? 

In other business, the Senate only worked a couple of days this week. After debating a couple of bills on Thursday morning, the House reconvened at 10 p.m. to debate SF 2311, a controversial utilities bill. They had to vote to suspend the rules to debate on bills and amendments after midnight. Did you know that legislative video streaming also shuts down at midnight? You can only listen to debate – you can’t watch it online. There were 50 amendments, so it was a long debate that ended only when members passed the bill at 5:15 a.m. Friday morning.


Find your legislator

Not sure who represents you? With 50 senators and 100 representatives, it can be hard to keep tabs. Visit our Legislator Lookup tool to find out who represents you in the state house and senate, biographical information about each one and a link to their legislative websites, which list contact information and committee membership. All you need to do is enter your home address and zip code. 

Bill tracker

Want to go deeper? Curious about the status of key bills? The Center maintains a bill tracker to outline the specific legislation we are following this this session. 

505 5th Ave., Ste. 404
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 280-9027 / www.cfpciowa.org

Follow Us

Our presence at the State Capitol during session is supported by individual Iowans who care about children and families—and support our work. Join us!

Manage Subscription