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Iowa Social Policy & Advocacy




Tuesday, 2-20-18


Plymouth Church

4126 Ingersoll Avenue

Des Moines, IA 50312


Registration opens at 8:15 am

Program begins at 8:45 am

After the legislative briefing at the church, we will travel to the Capitol where participants are encouraged to meet with your Legislators! Participants are advised to try to arrange meetings with Legislators prior to the event.


8:15 - 8:45          Registration

8:45 – 9:00        Welcome

9:00 – 9:05        Introduction to Break Out Sessions

9:05 – 9:15        Move upstairs to Sessions

9:15 – 10:00      Break Out Sessions #1

10:00 – 10:15    Move to 2nd session

10:15 – 11:00    Break Out Session #2

11:00 – 11:15    Move back to Waveland Hall; pick up lunch

11:15 - 11:35     Optional Session:  Lessons from the Lobbyist

12:30 pm           Meet with NASW member legislators

                           House Minority Leader Mark Smith LISW

                           Rep. Marti Anderson MSW

                           Office of the House Minority Leader

                           Room 121, 1st Floor - Capitol


The Break Out Session Topics will likely be on*

  • Healthcare        
  • Complex Service Needs Workgroup Report
  • Talking to Fiscal Conservatives about funding Social Services and Mental Health Programming
  • Integrated Health Homes and Other Community-based Programs for people living with Mental Illness



The planning committee reserves the right to change topics should urgent issues important to social workers and their clients come to the forefront. Final session topics will be chosen based on NASW Policy Priorities, the NASW Iowa Chapter Legislative Priorities, and the direction of the Legislative Session.


The event is sponsored by the Iowa Political Action for Candidate Election, the political arm of the NASW Iowa Chapter. Therefore, Campaign Finance Rules prohibit us from accepting college/university checks.


To register on-line




To register by Mail



Cancellations & Refunds:  Because breakfast and lunch are the main cost associated with this event, we will not be able to make refunds for any cancellations that occur after 8 am on Friday, Feb. 16, 2017.  Unless the Capitol is closed due to weather (which rarely happens during the Legislative Session) Legislative Day will take place.  Please use your own judgement based on weather conditions in your area.    





SF 2117 The FY2018 (current year) De-Appropriations Bill


As the De-Appropriations Bill for this fiscal year stands now, the DHS budget would be cut by more than $6 million for the CURRENT fiscal year. 

  • Thank you for recommending that Medicaid NOT be cut for this fiscal year.
  • DHS has seen more than it's fair share of budget cuts in the past few years
  • It's time to look at the budgets of other agencies.  
  • There are other bill currently under consideration that would ask DHS staff to do more fraud reduction and add drug testing. These types of programs will require an additional investment to DHS, not less money. 

Allowing Social Workers to form PLLCs and PC with other, similar professionals


HF 2300 allows social workers, psychologists, marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors to form PLLCs and PCs


Originally, this bill did not include social workers.  NASW IA worked with members of the subcommittee, Representatives Jacob Bossman, Vicki Lensing, and Chip Baltimore to have social workers inserted.  The version passed out of the House Judiciary Committee was amended and now INCLUDES social workers. 


Please ask your State Representatives to vote YES on this bill when it comes to the House floor for debate.


SF 2173 does NOT include social workers.  Sen. Brad Zaun has stated that he intends to include social workers in the bill when it comes to the senate floor.  Please email Sen. Zaun (the senate floor manager) and your own state senators and ask them to INCLUDE social workers in this bill.


If you have time for a couple more emails, please contact Representatives Jacob Bossman, Vicki Lensing, Chip Baltimore, and Ashley Hinson and thank them for their help on the House version of the bill.



WEEKEND UPDATE – talking points for townhall meetings this weekend.

The good news!! 


We finally have bills that will implement the Complex Service Needs Workgroup Report  (Mental Health)

In the House: HF 2327

In the Senate: SF 2252

NASW IA support both bills.  These bills create a framework for providing services to people who live with severe mental illness.

Please ask your legislators to support these bills.  IF there is something about these bills that you don’t like, let us know so we can get them fixed! 


The bad news.


There are some legislators who believe that we need more stringent work requirements for public assistance. 


HSB 666 was amended in committee this afternoon. The bill is now completely different than what you may find on-line for the next day or so.  This bill now directs DHS to request a waiver that will allow Iowa to have a work requirement for the 150,000 people on the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan (Medicaid Expansion).  This bill # will change, but as of Sunday evening, it is still HSB 666.



Please vote NO on this bill.  We all want state resources to be used efficiently.  This bill would create additional bureaucracy resulting in a less efficient state government with scarce resources going toward program administration rather than towards providing health care coverage to low income Iowans.


Targets: Your state representative.


SSB 3193 is more of a work in progress.  As of Thursday, the sponsor for the bill, Sen. Jason Schultz states he is willing to work on it, but is determined that those who receive public assistance should be subject to drug testing and work requirement.  This bill # will also change, but as of Sunday evening, it is still SSB 3193.


Talking points:

  • The Medicaid requirements as proposed are NOT currently allowed in federal law.  DHS would have to file an extensive waiver before they could be enacted.
  • The SNAP requirements as proposed are NOT currently allowed in federal law. The Federal SNAP program DOES NOT allow waivers.
  • Family Investment Program (FIP), Iowa’s cash assistance program, already has a Promise Jobs requirement.
  • Drug testing requirements have proven cost INEFFECTIVE in other states – the drug testing costs more than the money that is saved by denying benefits to the very tiny percentage of participants who test positive. 
  • Iowa already has a robust fraud prevention system.


Targets: Subcommittee members


Sen. Jason Schultz (bill author)


Sen. Jake Chapman





Sunday, 2-4-18



UPDATE: Allowing mental health professionals to form PLLCs and PCs.  Action in the House this week!


HSB 576 (companion bill to SSB 3043).   

NASW IA is requesting an AMENDMENT.


Committee meeting Tuesday, 2-6-18 at 2 pm

Please contact members of the HOUSE Judiciary Committee and ask them to include social workers, specifically LISWs, in this bill, which will allow psychologists and LMFTs and LMHCs to form PLLCs and PCs.


If you have time for ONE email, contact Zach Nunn, chair of the Judiciary committee.


If you have time for a second email, contact vice chair Greg Heartsill


If you have time for a third email, contact ranking member Mary Wolfe


If your own Representative happens to be on this committee, be sure to contact them as well.


Here is a link to the full committee:


Click on the Representative’s name to get their email address. 


To read the bill in its current form, go to:






Last week SSB 3043 passed out of committee without amendments.  Word is that Senator Brad Zaun has agreed to amend the bill. 


Please email your Senators and ask them to

AMEND SSB 3043 to INCLUDE social workers, particularly LISWs (because they are allowed to practice independently). 


SSB 3043 will add Mental Health Counselors to Iowa Code that will allow them to form professional limited liability corporations (PLLC) and professional corporations (PC).


NASW IA has registered UNDECIDED.

We are asking for an amendment that would include social workers in this bill.



For their email addresses go to:


To read the bill go to:


Talking points on SSB 3043/HSB 576



National Association of Social Workers, Iowa Chapter requests an amendment to the bill to include licensed social workers as well as LMHCs, LMFTs and psychologists.


This bill would amend Chapters 489 and 496 of the Iowa Code addressing professional limited liability corporations (PLLC) and professional corporations (PC), respectively.


The bill adds mental health counselor (LMHC) to the list of professions that may form a PLLC. It also amends the law to permit LMHCs, marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) and psychologists to join together to practice in combination or as a partnership. This amendment mirrors a current section of the code providing this authority for physicians, osteopaths and physician assistants.  The bill would include similar amendments regarding LMFTs and LMHCs in connection with the formation of PCs and combined practice.


We request that licensed social workers be written into the bill as well. It would make sense to add social workers to the list of professions that may form PLLCs and PCs, and to provide authority for social workers to practice in combination or as a partnership with LMFTs, LMHCs and psychologists. Social workers should be able to enjoy the same benefits conferred through the formation of PLLCs and PCs as are enjoyed by the other professions referenced in the Iowa Code. And it would be appropriate to allow social workers to practice in combination with LMFTs, LMHCs and psychologists, as these professions are all closely related.  Licensed social workers are defined as mental health professionals under Iowa Code.




NASW IA needs YOU to help with state level advocacy

As you will recall, National Association of Social Workers Iowa Chapter members and other professionals had quite a whirlwind of advocacy during the 2017 legislative session on a variety of issues, but particularly licensure. Thanks to all of you who reached out to your state legislators to make the voices of professional social workers heard. 


The 2018 Iowa State Legislative began on Monday, January 8.  The NASW IA government relations committee has developed a survey for those who are interested in doing advocacy work around state policy issues. 


If you are at all interested in engaging in this work, please answer the VERY short survey (link below) so we can be in touch with you for very specific activities.


One of the members of our government relations committee will be in touch with you shortly. 


Ways to do Advocacy on the State Level  


The gold standard for communicating with a government official is a face-to-face meeting.  If you can’t come to the Capitol to do this, you can do so at home at townhall meetings and coffees.


For information on when and where townhall meetings are scheduled, go to:


Personalized Letters to Government Officials


If you are short on time, you can always write to your state senators and representatives.  While it varies from legislator to legislator, email is a pretty effective way to reach most of them.  NASW also recommends a letter by USPS for state legislators. It’s different – so it gets their attention.

Find contact information for your State lawmakers with the link below:


The National Education Association (NEA) has a nice tip sheet on writing letters elected officials:


Phone Calls


Phone calls are not as effective for Iowa state legislators, because their voicemail can get full. If they know you and have your phone number in their cell phone, it can work.  You can call the Iowa Legislative switchboards, which are open from 8 am until 5 pm on days that the legislature is in session.(Noon to 5 pm on Mondays)


Senate switchboard



House switchboard



You can leave a voicemail once transferred to their extension, which then send an email to their legislative email account.


Letters to the Editor


Another way to make your stance known is to write a letter to the editor.  The beauty of a letter to the editor is that it can educate the public as well as your elected official. 


Here’s a nice resource from our friends at the Union of Concerned Scientists on how to write a good letter to the editor:


And another from the NEA:


Here’s a link on how to submit a Letter to the Des Moines Register:


Ways to Reach out to the Governor’s Office


Web form to send your thoughts to the Governor:


by phone: 515-281-5211


by Twitter:

Governor Kim Reynolds

Twitter Handle:  @KimReynoldsIA


For a handwritten letter use this address:

1007 E. Grand Ave.

Des Moines, Iowa 50319


Please feel free to call the NASW office should you have any questions



NASW Social Policy Statements
Each General Assembly Cycle, the Social Policies Committee reviews current policy statements and determines the need for revisions or additions to the priorities.  The committee strives to develop policy statements that reflect the issues facing social workers and their clients in Iowa as well as issues that appear to be of importance at the time. 


NASW, Iowa Chapter 2015-16 Social Policy Statements

2015-16 Access to Family Planning (Full statement)

Access to Family Planning 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Care for Juvenile Females in the Justice System (Full statement)

Care of Juvenile Females in the Justice System 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Child Mental Health Reform (Full statement)

Child Mental Health Reform 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Child Welfare(Full statement)

Child Welfare 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Economic Disparity (Full statement)

Economic Disparity 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Electoral Issues (Full statement)

Electoral Issues 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Healthcare Reform (Full statement)

Healthcare Reform 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Immigration Policy (Full statement)

Immigration Policy 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Marriage Equality (Full statement)

Marriage Equality 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Older Iowans (Full statement)

Older Iowans 1 Page Summary

2015-16 Social Work Reinvestment (Full statement)

Social Work Reinvestment 1 Page Summary


NASW, Iowa Chapter 2014-15 Social Policy Statements

2013-14 Access to Family Planning and Abortion Services
2013-14 Child Mental Health Reform
2013-14 Child Welfare Services
2013-14 Civil Marriage
2013-14 Family Investment Program (FIP) Basic Grant
2013-14 Fiscal Policy
2013-14 Health Care Reform
2013-14 Immigration Policy and Undocumented Persons in Iowa
2013-14 Older Iowans
2013-14 Services for Veterans
2013-14 Social Work Reinvestment
2013-14 Voter Rights

Advocacy is defined by many as arguing or pleading for a cause, whether a person, group, or policy. Advocacy is key to the role social workers play within their jobs and their communities. The Iowa Chapter develops legislative priorities on an annual basis reflecting the needs of those we serve society as a whole. NASW encourages members to become involved in advocacy efforts on many different levels.


Social Work Reinvestment
The Iowa Chapter is committed to advocating on behalf of the social work profession in Iowa.  To learn more about the Chapter's activities surrounding Social Work Reinvestment, CLICK HERE.

DONATE TODAY!!!  The work of the Chapter cannot be done without your help!  Consider a donation to the SWRI efforts in Iowa. 

You can send your donation to:

NASW, Iowa Chapter
Attn.:  SWRI Efforts
1620 Pleasant Street
Suite 212
Des Moines, IA  50314

Helpful Links:

Temporary Driver's License Legislation for Undocumented Latino Immigrants.  Written by Northwestern College Students under the supervision and revision of Dr. Valeria Stokes, LISW 

NASW-IA Chapter 2014 Social Work Labor Force Study

Iowa General Assembly
Find My Legislator
Register to Vote
Iowa Legislative Day

CLICK HERE to join the NASW or renew your membership today.

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