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Reynolds hears request for food bank funding, increased Medicaid rates

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(The Center Square) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds heard requests for an increase in Medicaid funding and a new private-public partnership with the Food Bank of Iowa during a public budget hearing on Wednesday.

Lisa Pakkebier, executive director of REM Iowa, asked Reynolds for more Medicaid dollars.

“The rate increase directed at wages would help support and ensure that the providers can recruit and retain a high-quality workforce to support vulnerable individuals with intellectual disabilities, brain injuries, mental health challenges, co-occurring conditions and other complex needs,” Pakkebier said during the hearing.

Michelle Book, CEO of the Iowa Food Bank, told the governor that some states have line items in their budgets for food banks. She asked the governor to embrace a public-private partnership.

“Thirty-six percent of working Iowa households don’t make enough money to cover the cost of basic needs,” Book said.

Other organizations thanked Reynolds for supporting tax relief and school choice during her tenure. The state’s top marginal income tax rate rolled back from 6% to 5.7% on Monday.

The state has a surplus from fiscal year 2024 that Reynolds said she wants lawmakers to use for more tax relief.

Revenues for the fiscal 2025 budget will drop about 1.1% to $9.6 billion, according to the Revenue Estimating Committee. Budget requests from state departments are up by $24.2 million over last year to $8.6 billion, according to a budget preview from the Legislative Services Agency.

Lawmakers return to Des Moines on Monday. Reynolds will give her Condition of the State address at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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