Rep. Greg Heartsill has remained active in his legislative duties since the end of the session. Most recently, he has reached out to members of both parties to form what he has called a “Common Sense and Accountability” agenda. This includes:
I. Government Reform
-Reorganize state government where divisions, bureaus and agencies of similar functionality fall under the same umbrella
-Create a “Public Official Academy” to train education, county, municipal, and regional elected officials on the codes applicable to their public service, their authorities, their fiduciary and statutory responsibilities
II. Education Reform
-Opt out of No Child Left Behind
-Eliminate the funding of non-existent students
-Streamline the bureaucracy so that monies allocated to education are actually spent on student instruction
-Mandate the publishing of full, accurate, and complete academic data to the citizens of Iowa that has been independently audited
III. Personal Responsibility and Human Dignity Reform
-Require work as a condition of receiving welfare benefits
-Require a G.E.D. (or the acquisition of a G.E.D.) as a condition of receiving welfare benefits
-Require drug testing as a condition of receiving welfare benefits. The first failed drug test results in probation and scheduled testing. The second failed test results in mandated treatment. The third failed test results in suspension from benefits until it can be demonstrated the recipient is clean.
-Require the use of state-issued photo identification to activate and utilize food stamp cards in Iowa
-Require the State of Iowa to comply with Federal Law in providing welfare benefits to legal citizens only.
Heartsill said the ideas are basic, simple and long overdue. All of these proposals have been submitted to the other 149 members of the General Assembly. In the days since sharing his plan, he has received praise and constructive criticism.
“I see it as a win-win,” Heartsill said. He believes his proposals will not only save money ($1-2 billion annually), but improve the delivery of services.