WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Rich Taylor

State Senator Rich Taylor (D-Mt. Pleasant) believes Iowa's Medicaid system is failing because of the decision to privatize it and that it could take federal intervention to save it.

A pair of southeast Iowa politicians announced their re-election plans Monday.

Iowa Terry Branstad announced more than six months ago that he wanted to close the mental health institutes in Mount Pleasant and Clarinda. He kept his word because on July 1, they did not open, leaving dozens of employees without a job.

Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds declined an invitation Thursday to visit a mental health care facility in southeast Iowa, saying there was not time in her schedule for the unplanned stop.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

State Senator Rich Taylor (D-Mount Pleasant) is surprised that one of the bills he sponsored this year is not sailing through the Iowa Legislature.

The bill would give residents the authority to call for a special election to "relocate a county seat, establish an additional county seat, or consolidate county seats."  Such a vote would require 60% approval to pass.

Southeast Iowa is already experiencing the potential fall-out from the proposed closing of a state-run facility.

State Senator Rich Taylor (D-Mount Pleasant) said he could not believe what he was hearing when Iowa Governor Terry Branstad spoke to lawmakers about his proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Lee County's budget for the upcoming fiscal year has proven to be the latest battleground for the debate over returning driver's license services in Keokuk.

The Lee County Board of Supervisors has made some initial decisions regarding the county's upcoming budget, but there is still plenty of work to do.

The Iowa Legislature could be asked to weigh in on how and where Lee County offers certain governmental services.

New SE Iowa Senator Preparing for Session

Jan 7, 2013

Southeast Iowa’s newest state lawmaker says he is still getting used to the state capitol.

The three candidates for the Democratic nomination in Iowa’s 42nd Senate District say they will make education a top priority.

Bob Morawitz of Fort Madison, Rich Taylor of Mount Pleasant and Donna Amandus of Fort Madison each say improvements to the education system equate to economic development.

Morawitz says the key is improving the workforce, adding “we have a lot of people who do not have the skills and need the training.”

He says that starts with focusing on adult education, especially as industrial jobs become more technology-based.