State addresses opioid epidemic

Many bipartisan bills were passed this week in the House Chamber in Des Moines.

It is great to see all my colleagues working together to solve problems and improve the lives of us Iowans. A bill to address and slow the opioid epidemic was passed. It contains language to limit access of prescription narcotic drugs and also supports treatment programs. Another major piece of legislation that passed in the House was a mental health care bill.

Much work went into writing this good piece of legislation that will improve the lives of those currently struggling with mental health illness and expands education and awareness in identifying problems.

I traveled to Bloomfield on Friday, Feb. 23, and discussed the drought of last summer with many cattle producers of Davis County. I will continue to fight for fairness with drought relief. I plan on having more federal officials become knowledgeable of what happened to see if we can find a solution.

I was assigned to an education subcommittee that met this week to discuss extending school bus ride time from 60 minutes to 75 minutes, two times per day. This was proposed as a cost saving measure for rural school districts. I voted against moving the bill to the Education Committee. I feel school boards should look at other ways to reduce spending. Preschool and elementary children should not be on a 75 minute bus ride every morning or afternoon. I think we are trying to solve chronic underfunding of public education at the expense of what is really best for our kids.

The majority party has still not brought up deappropriation for the current year. We also do not have a budget for next year. What the majority party now wants to talk about is a $1 billion tax cut! I continue to work very hard for you. When I vote I do what is right for all of the people who live in House District 82. Stay in touch.

? Phil Miller serves District 82 in the Iowa House of Representatives. The district includes all of Davis and Van Buren counties, and most of Jefferson County. He can be reached at 641-472-2511, or via email at phil.miller@legis.iowa.gov.