LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Drop the politics and renew our commitment to strong public schools

To the Editor, As a lawmaker from Cerro Gordo county, I often read newspapers from different parts of North Iowa just to see what’s happening and see what folks are talking about. The one message I’ve heard consistently from Iowans this session is that they’re sick and tired of politics. I don’t blame them one bit and, to be honest, I feel the same.    I was disappointed to read Rep. Henry Stone’s column (published elsewhere) from March 30th that was based on misinformation and included several unfair characterizations of debate in Des Moines regarding education and public schools.   … Continue reading LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Drop the politics and renew our commitment to strong public schools

Prichard column: Investing in Education

By State Representative Todd Prichard Our first month of the 2020 legislative session has concluded and it’s been a whirlwind of activity at the State Capitol.  This week, the House and Senate each passed its own version of education funding for the upcoming school year.  What the final amount of state funding for students and classrooms will be is still an open question.  Fortunately, state revenues are strong right now in this environment of low unemployment.  After a decade of low funding for schools, I view this as an opportunity to make overdue investments in Iowa’s education system, particularly in … Continue reading Prichard column: Investing in Education

CAPITOL COMMENTS: Democrats demand inquiry into Iowa’s privatized Medicaid fiasco

By Rep. Todd Prichard, D- Charles City In January 2015, I was surprised to read that then Governor Terry Branstad had unilaterally decided to privatize Iowa’s Medicaid health system.  I, along with the rest of my colleagues in the legislature, was caught off guard by the dramatic change to one of the state’s biggest programs.  There was no legislative input, no oversight, and no check on the Governor’s decision to alter how over 600,000 Iowans receive medical services. Despite this drastic shift, Republican legislative leaders refused  to intervene, or even question their fellow party member’s decision.  They faithfully believed the … Continue reading CAPITOL COMMENTS: Democrats demand inquiry into Iowa’s privatized Medicaid fiasco

Column: How did humanity survive parenthood?

This column was originally posted on Chris Baldus: Journalist Dad in 2012 A speaker on parenting made this interesting point at church today. If parents knew, really knew what they were getting into, no one would be a parent. Humanity would have met its end quickly. It can be a tough gig, no question. There’s just nothing like dragging a 5- year-old out of church as she sob-scream-chants, “I want a doughnut. I want a doughnut.” Full disclosure: This was over denial of a second doughnut from the church’s stash and it lasted for the full 10-minute drive home during … Continue reading Column: How did humanity survive parenthood?

Prichard: Republicans mismanaging state finances

By Rep. Todd Prichard Capitol Comments Column, April 6 Since the last time I wrote, the budget de-appropriation bill was introduced, passed and signed into law by the governor. This is the second year in a row that the Legislature and governor have made cuts to the current year’s budget more than halfway through the fiscal year. In other words, this marks two years of mismanagement of our state by the governor’s administration. This failure is obvious when state agencies and educational institutions do not have consistent budgets, and when revenue runs short despite a strong economy and low unemployment. The … Continue reading Prichard: Republicans mismanaging state finances

State budget puts corporate welfare above schools, health

By Rep. Todd Prichard I’ve been catching up on my local newspaper reading lately.  Two stories caught my eye. I read a piece about a Charles City woman who can’t receive the services she needs to maintain herself in her home due to cuts forced by her Managed Care Provider. The other article focused on how the Charles City Community School District is now dealing with a $500,000 budget cut next year. Both of these stories are interrelated, they share a common theme. And that is that the state budget and the lack of state support for basic health care services and education directly … Continue reading State budget puts corporate welfare above schools, health

Capitol Comments: Food shaming, child support bills advance

By Rep. Todd Prichard Greetings from the 2018 legislative session. This week marks the first important deadline of the session, known as the first funnel. If a bill does not pass out of a standing committee, it is dead for the year. I am happy to report that I was able to pass two of my own bills before the deadline. One is a bill to prevent food shaming in schools (HSB660) and the other addresses the collection of back child support (HF2040). While I am proud of the fact that I was able to shepherd these bill through the … Continue reading Capitol Comments: Food shaming, child support bills advance

CCHS speech: It can move you

It’s a long-running stupid joke with me. It’s something I’ll ask reporters when they come back from an assignment or a copy editor who finished proofing my writing. “Did you laugh? Did you cry? Did it move you?” Well, Thursday night, the Charles City High School speech kids made all three happen. I attended their public performance at the old middle school auditorium. This weekend they will perform for state contest judges in Decorah. Thursday, they performed for us. Full disclosure: I was there because my daughter, Rose, was a member of one of the improvisation teams. She, Mariah McKenzie … Continue reading CCHS speech: It can move you

CAPITOL COMMENTS: Legislature misses out on water quality opportunity

By Representative Todd Prichard I have a personality flaw. I cry over spilled milk. I would attribute this to my mother’s sense of frugality. Wasted time, money, supplies — it all drives me crazy. This week the legislature wasted an excellent opportunity to improve water quality in our state. On Tuesday, the House passed out SF512, a bill the Senate had introduced last session.  While not horrible, it is not the comprehensive bill Iowans need to address water issues. I ultimately did vote in favor of it, but only as a starting point. SF512 could have (and should have) been … Continue reading CAPITOL COMMENTS: Legislature misses out on water quality opportunity

Capitol Comments: Health care system’s failings are devastating

By Rep. Todd Prichard Welcome to the New Year and the 2018 Iowa Legislative session. I am back to work at the Capitol and wondering how this session is going to play out. Like every year, there are a variety of opportunities and challenges facing the legislature. Challenges: The state of Iowa is facing a major budget shortfall for the second year in a row, and our health care, education and mental health systems are woefully underfunded. Opportunities: We are close to a compromise with water quality, if lawmakers are willing to put principle before partisanship. Further opportunities include implementing … Continue reading Capitol Comments: Health care system’s failings are devastating

Steinbach: Praying and staying between the lines on the high road of life

North Cedar Reports is proud to present its readers with this link to Chris Steinbach’s writings on his website Brome Hill.  He describes Brome Hill this way: “Brome Hill is the home for whatever is on my mind. I am an old farm boy and former reporter and editor at newspapers in Iowa, North Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Idaho. My interests include reading, writing, bicycling and current events. The name Brome Hill comes from a field on the farm where I grew up …” Click here for his column “Praying and staying between the lines on the high road of … Continue reading Steinbach: Praying and staying between the lines on the high road of life

CC Mayor: Charles City progress — Looking backward, looking forward

By James A. Erb, Charles City mayor  The Summer of 2017 has already seen quite a bit of progress in the Charles City area. Here are some of the highlights thus far: ​The Mark Kuhn Family has reopened the All Iowa Lawn Tennis Club which features a tennis court that resembles the famous Wimbledon. It has now been named, the “Alex J. Kuhn Court of Dreams” during a two day invitational at the court. As an extra bonus, the event was covered by CBS News which showcased the talents of top-ranked juniors from Iowa and Minnesota.   ​The McQuillen Place … Continue reading CC Mayor: Charles City progress — Looking backward, looking forward

CC MAYOR: The best of times and the worst of times

By James Erb, Charles City Mayor   ​To say we are in the midst of one of the busiest and best summer seasons in the history of our town is only to state the obvious. A majority of the events were conceived of and originated in the recent past. In addition, the new sculpture, Revival, will be dedicated on July 1st and RAGBRAI will be staying overnight in Charles City as part of the bike trip across Iowa. This marks RAGBRAI’s fourth visit to Charles City in recent times; the other visits being in 1996, 2002, and 2010. This list … Continue reading CC MAYOR: The best of times and the worst of times

From the desk of Mayor James A. Erb: Last call for infrastructure investment — A joint entity challenge

BY MAYOR JAMES ERB CHARLES CITY — ​We are about to enter into a “planning season” for public bodies. In addition to present goals/plans, here are the following which I am presently involved with: (1) The Charles City Comprehensive Plan, (2) The Floyd County (ADC) Strategic Plan, and (3) the Mason City-Clear Lake Highway 122 Corridor Plan.   To do this planning, the first question that needs to be asked is how much regional demand for infrastructure is there? Here is a list of what is on the horizon that might require the dedication of community funds in the Charles City … Continue reading From the desk of Mayor James A. Erb: Last call for infrastructure investment — A joint entity challenge

Mayor Erb: Clean-up Day, bridge collapse and rural revival

By Charles City Mayor Jim Erb It’s spring time in Iowa, the planting season is almost here and we have a lot to anticipate this year.  The question is where does one start?  One starts with Spring  Cleanup, which is basically the same opportunity for our residents as has been available in past years.  The Cleanup will occur on April 24, 25, 26, and 27.  The specifics of the collections will be posted at City Hall and also in the normal media locations.  After a winter  of accumulation of items, now is the time to gather unwanted items and have them … Continue reading Mayor Erb: Clean-up Day, bridge collapse and rural revival