From the Desk of Sen. Giddens: Let Me Know How I Can Help

State Sen. Eric Giddens (D-Cedar Falls)

Greetings friends and neighbors! I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend with family and friends. In the last couple weeks, we’ve experienced some severe weather across the state, and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been impacted. Best wishes as you work through the recovery process.

Since my last newsletter two and a half weeks ago, I’ve continued to stay busy in the community. In addition to visiting with lots of constituents at their doors, I’ve attended several events such as the Cedar Falls Public Safety Open House, the Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center’s Annual Breakfast event, the Gold Star Teacher Awards ceremony, the Black Hawk County Peace Officers Memorial Service, the Hawkeye Community College Regional Law Enforcement Academy commencement, and the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Cedar Falls AmVets Post 49. As we move into June, I’m looking forward to community festivals, parades, and lots of fun outdoor activities.

As always, please reach out to me at eric.giddens@legis.iowa.gov or (319) 230-0578 if I can be helpful with anything or if you have any issues or concerns you’d like to share with me. It is an honor to serve!

How Can I Help?

The legislative session may be over, but my work as your state senator is far from finished.

A big part of my job – and the best part of my job – is to help you. Senate Democrats take constituent service seriously, and we’re available to help you solve problems and access services through our state government.

Here are just a few of the things we regularly help constituents with:

-Accessing Medicaid, Hawk-I, and other state-sponsored healthcare services

-Connecting with veterans’ services

-Navigating Iowa Workforce Development and other state offices

-Obtaining a flag flown over the Iowa state Capitol

-Capitol visits and dome tours

-Class visits, Q+A sessions, and presentations on your state government

Helping constituents and ensuring prompt, meaningful responses from our state government is literally what I signed up for as an Iowa state senator. Please feel free to call (319-230-0578) on me anytime you need help with these items or anything else.

Remember the “memorial” in Memorial Day

This past weekend, we honored and remembered the men and women in uniform who died defending our country. As we celebrate the beginning of summer, please take a moment to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day and the sacrifices made by generations of Americans to ensure our freedom.

Take the Aging survey

Iowa’s Department of Health and Human Services is requesting Iowans to complete a survey to inform a newly launched project called Iowa Solutions for Aging with Independence and Longevity (SAIL). The survey seeks information on concerns and challenges facing aging Iowans and accessing care, as the department seeks to create a long-term plan on aging. Find the survey here: https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx

Inaction on opioids

Take a moment to read Sen. Janice Weiner’s op-ed on the majority party’s failure to support opioid relief efforts in Iowa. After two years, I’m very, very concerned about the inaction in addressing the opioid crisis. Link to the Gazette article: https://www.thegazette.com/guest-columnists/petty-politics-blocks-iowas-opioid-response/

Tuition hike likely

The Iowa Board of Regents has proposed raising tuition for the coming school year by 3 percent for in-state students at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University and by 2 percent at the University of Northern Iowa. The universities propose varying tuition increases for nonresident, graduate, and professional students. To find out how you can access financial assistance in paying for college, visit Iowa College Aid.

Good News for Iowa 529s

Recent state legislation has boosted the tax deduction on contributions to Iowa’s two 529 education-savings plans as well as Iowa’s Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) plan – it’s now $5,500. The state has also cut the fees associated with College Savings Iowa’s investment options, dropping them to 0.17% — that’s $1.70 per year for every $1,000 invested.

State Senator Eric Giddens represents Iowa Senate District 38 including Cedar Falls, Hudson, Traer, Dysart, Evansdale, Elk Run Heights, Gilbertville, Washburn, LaPorte City and Mount Auburn. Contact Sen. Giddens at 319-230-0578 or eric.giddens@legis.iowa.gov.