Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

February 8, 2013

Heartsill legislative update

Steve Woodhouse

Knoxville — "Things are starting to make it out of committee now," Rep. Greg Heartsill said. Though he has not filed any bills yet, Heartsill is working on two key bills. The first is intended to reverse a controversial court decision regarding eminent domain. The decision allowed cities and counties to condemn property to take it from an owner to give to another. This is done in the interest of economic development and greater tax revenue. Heartsill's bill would restrict the ability to condemn for these reasons. The other bill Heartsill is crafting would allow parents to teach their children Driver's Education. Heartsill said waiting lists get too long for some students, especially in rural areas. Private instruction can be cost prohibitive. The bill would provide parents a curriculum and require twice the instruction time than traditional drivers' ed classes. Heartsill is a cosponsor of HF 138, the "personhood" bill. "This is something I campaigned on," Heartsill said. Heartsill also supports using the $600-plus billion surplus for road improvements, over any gas tax increase. Next week, the big issues will be Medicaid expansion and education reform. Heartsill will have a forum in Knoxville at the Chamber of Commerce on Friday, Feb. 15, at 4 p.m.