Polly Denison started her career as a paralegal at the Arizona Department of Health Services.
After moving back to Iowa, she worked at the Johnson County Attorney’s Office and a Cedar Rapids law firm. Since 2013, she has worked as an insurance consultant.
Born in Iowa City and graduating from the University of Iowa, Polly knows the importance of volunteerism, hard work, and community. She is dedicated to working with fellow Benton and Iowa County citizens, and learning the issues that are most important to you.
Polly’s primary concerns are education, conservation, renewable energy, and ensuring that all Benton and Iowa county citizens have a voice in their state government.
It’s Time the People Came First. Join Polly Denison for Iowa District 75.
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POLLY ON THE ISSUES
What are the three biggest issues facing the state? How would you address them?
It is clear that the Medicaid privatization is not working for Iowans. I would actively work with legislators to overturn the Governor’s unilateral decision to turn over the health care of our neediest citizens to profiteers who put the bottom line over those citizens.
Not only do we need to fund K-12 programs appropriately, we need to complete budget approval and appropriation within the time limits set by Iowa law. It appears that legislators are more focused on helping big businesses than students. Failing to appropriately fund education may starve Iowa’s schools and force choices that will negatively affect students including over-crowded classrooms, consolidation of rural schools, and loss of programs for at-risk students.
Plain and simple, Iowa needs to raise the minimum wage. It is simply not possible to live on $7.25 per hour. People working 40 hour weeks earn just $15,080 per year. After Social Security and taxes are withheld, the minimum wage earner brings home just $11,310 per year or 942.50 per month. At that point, the basics of life are unaffordable. The basics are shelter and food. It is not acceptable for hard working people who work 40+ hours per week to live below the poverty line.
Iowa’s minimum wage has now fallen behind 29 other states and the District of Columbia. Nebraska and Minnesota have $9.00/hour minimum wages. South Dakota and Illinois have minimum wages above $8.00/hour. I would like to see the minimum wage raised incrementally to $15.00 per hour.
There is no reason for the tax payers in Iowa to supplement the corporate profits of retailers, manufacturers, and chain restaurants that refuse to pay their employees livable wages.
What do you consider as budget priorities?
Education will always be first and foremost in my mind. There is no bigger obligation of the State than to education its children and citizens. I will support legislation to set minimum increases in the education budget.
Water Quality/Soil Health affects all of us. Iowa’s farmers are doing their best to feed the world. In my conversations with local farmers, they are already implementing on-farm conservation practices to improve soil and water quality. They are also very willing to learn and implement additional practices to insure that their families and children can continue to farm healthy soil for many generations to come. We must as a State make sure that we continue to support farmers with research and development of conservation practices.
Medicaid Privatization has been a disaster. Governor Branstad’s unilateral decision to transfer Medicaid management to national, for-profit companies has left 560,000 Iowans without access to critical health care. Claims are being denied and health care providers are not being paid for approved treatments. There is little to no legislative oversight. Iowans are suffering. While I would like to return Medicaid management to the Iowa Department of Human Services, the very least action we can take is to secure legislative oversight of the managed care organization to be sure that Iowan’s care and treatment takes precedence over profits.
Renewable Energy, Biofuels, Wind and Solar Energy Development is imperative to the continued growth of Iowa’s economy and the safety of our nation as a whole. Iowa needs to move swiftly because of competition for businesses looking to invest in the industry. Legislation to provide renewable chemical manufacturing tax credits was approved by the House last session, but failed to pass the Senate.
What new funding streams could be developed to increase state revenues?
Have changes or exemptions to tax codes gone too far?
In 2015 alone, the State of Iowa lost $260 million dollars in potential revenue. This same $260 million would fund education, water quality initiatives, and infrastructure projects. Many of these same corporations receiving property tax credits pay their employees minimum wages. The State of Iowa cannot afford supplement corporate profits when those Corporations do not pay Iowans livable wages.
We need to look to discretionary tax exemptions and consider whether they are incentives or rewards.
When it comes to medical marijuana, do you support expanding current legislation beyond cannabidiol to benefit others? Why or why not?
Not only are there significant medical treatments regarding cannabidiol, there are multiple studies from accredited medical and educational institutions demonstrating that marijuana is not as harmful to our bodies and minds as several legalized substances.