The Cities | Iowa Legislative Update & Harrison Hilltop Theatre | WQPT

Uploaded by WQPTPBS on 20.07.2011

production funding for the cities is provided by a grant from the doris and
victor day foundation
the iowa legislatures spring session is finished but the work isn't done and
harrison hilltop leaving the hill here in the cities
iowa is a state divided a republican-controlled house democratic
senate in such a political climate
expect ideas to bloom in one chamber other to wither in the other but amid
the debate negotiations and the near record long spring session in the
des moines
did anything tangiable really get a accomplished
let's find out joining me now as iowa republican state representative linda
miller and democratic state representative jim liham thanks for
joining us
thank you for having it when i just ask the question right off the bat
did anything tangiable get accomplish you happy with the way the session went
well i thought it was a little long but i think anytime that you
have um...
uh... different opinions
uh... it's gonna take awhile for us to come to a consensus which it did take us
a while but we did reached the consensus and it was there and i think it was
uh... i think it was a good session
what is interesting is that there were so few bills than actually passed the
house of the senate went to the other chamber and got to the governor
this is one of if you look at it that way one of the less productive sessions of
the iowa legislature you would beg to differ though
i wait because i think we've laid the foundation for
uh... a lot of different uh... a complicated issues which include mental
health includes tax structure includes tax policy
and includes how we
the actually make priorities in the state of iowa about how we're gonna
spend our tax dollars jim how do you see a lot from the uh... democratic or from
the uh... minority party right now in the house i i think we've
makes a lot of good progress i mean
but from the minority standpoint i
you feel like maybe we shouldn't be too much time on uh...
divisive issues like abortion and same sex marriage well i would like to touch
on that right off the bat that uh... we're concerned that some of the social
issues that work to get passed in the senate anyhow took up too much time
inside the legislation
yes but but sometimes i mean that
the politics of the places uh... and in sometimes you know
like linda and i discussed earlier they had sixty members
and that's a very diverse group
uh... team and i've been in agreement with everything but uh... you still have
to put fifty one votes up
linda what what's your opinion too much
social issues that were consider anything said he pretty well for sure
we're going to pass the senate
well i think it's time you have an election where you actually are changing
the uh... that uh...
that the focus of government or one party takes over the other party
uh... loses
the party that wins feels that they have a mandate for certain issues and then
the on that in the republican house which is a very conservative
sixty group of people
they felt that they had to to attack
uh... some of the social issues as part of their
uh... was part of their campaigning in that
that was part of our mandate to
voters but for the most part the most
mandate was the fact that we get our fiscal house in order and we put people
back to work his state of iowa and we kept
coming back to that it may have taken us a little while to get back to that
but that was the priority at this session and we have
to get people back to work no getting back
just to backtrack once it is almost like there's three parties in the house that
you have the democrats the republicans
and that and a very conservative republicans
i think when you have that change in leadership it changed and and for me i
was in your committee chair
health and human services
i this is my fifth-year
my third term
that i have never been a committee chair before
and so you have new
rule uh... a new majority leader you have a new speaker
and everybody has to learn
but the positions are and how they're going to communicate who you are staking
out their positions but but did you feel that there was time wasted
uh... i think that
the process just takes time and i guess
i'm more of a consensus builder anytime you go to consensus and you're trying to
find a
medium where everybody will agree
that takes time and when you have
opposite such as this
the senate democrats and the house republicans
uh... it just takes them a little longer to realize that we have to come to the
middle somewhere says it's seen jim that maybe this next year that the session
twenty twelve vicious just going to be continuation
of some of the paralysis that was seen in this last session
is history repeats itself i don't think so
because it is an election year
i think that uh...
people will want to get their work done up there and in get back out on the
campaign trail
i don't look for another hundred and seventy two day section and came down
almost the eleventh hour as far as the budget is concerned and there were
issues that it seems like the governor one republicans won and democrats won
are you happy do you think that some of the key issues that you wanted it actually
uh... i came to fruition in the budget
well when you're in there's only forty of us
uh... so we've had uh... uh... choose carefully the issues that we we thought
and then i'm gone
you know to move ah... on into next year and uh... and then on to the next
election cycle
linda what do you think
well i think when we came in january first you have to realize that we were
spending a dollar eighteen for every dollar we take in revenue
we were left in a financial difficulty place
and people have to realize that you have to get back to we had to get back to
zero before you could even start so especially say education
where governor culver had done it ten percent about that crossed the board cut
in december
and underfunded and uh... our property tax ah... for schools
by two hundred eighteen million dollars it takes a long time to get to make that
up and we had a backfill those amounts of people
who were concerned about
uh... zero percent uh... allowable growth education
didn't realize that first of all we had to make up for the ten percent
across-the-board cut
and backfill the property taxes best my knowledge education funding for the
state of iowa even zero percent increase this year
a two percent in the second year which was the compromise the brandstand
adminstration wanted zero for both democrats want an increase are you
satisfied with a two percent so i think it's i think it's one of the best ways to tell
you that this thing you have to realize is that we
now we are able to cover our ongoing expenses with ongoing revenue so that
what schools most want is
foreaof security knowing where they're gonna go in the future having
ten percent across-the-board cuts is absolutely the worst thing for education
because it creates a climate of if we don't know where you get what you can
have for the next year engine when we're talking about the budget and it becomes
a very beginning within you know one or two year budget is
that so
i noted that the governor one of the two-year budget he won on that are you
pretty happy that the governor branstand did win on that issue well where
were going and i think the second year in funding about eighty five percent of
second year so will have to make
adjustment as well as i mean even this year budget to go back in it
revenues drop something you have to do something else that uh...
i'm satisfied that uh... there was a compromise on the budget your
variation of course in transportation and public safety when the issues of
course was an increase in the gas tax
better pay for transportation issues and i want because i thought that
was going to be a no-go anyhow write well that that the problem we're gonna
six statewide meetings that were i'm in expert member on it and one one two
meetings will be in davenport
uh... but i think it's up to the commission now
to sell the general public
uh... on a a gas tax increase from a political standpoint uh... i still think
that that's a pretty tough hill to climb into reapportion election year
linda of you of course is health care
health issues
and mental health issues as well
uh... you believe that you made some real ground for improving on
health care in the state of iowa
yes i believe that we've laid the groundwork for what will be
um... the framework for the next step probly on decade for mental health
services in iowa
traditionally historically we had ninety nine different county plans for mental
some counties had really good services such as scott county
and some counties in some of the rural areas had no services so uh... basically
i thought was that
any citizen in the state of iowa deserves to have the same level of
mental health services no matter where they reside
so that's the underlying of
criteria for the way we're going to go forward for mental health services in
iowa and it will be state-sponsored not county and you like thats better
I mean when we look at state rights in federal
now your looking at county rights and state right in your saying a
standard policy for the entire state
from missouri river the mississippi is better than county by county well i
think they'll be a floor level of services that will be the state will
require that we still need to have county
intake county
input and uh... the counties will be doing the initial triage of that of the
people county services to still be part of it
one last ares regards of the budget in taxes that uh... the governor was really
looking for some tax reform tht didn't get through the house or senate
looking at property taxes, coperate taxes where is that going to end head now
wee, i think that could be possibly if there is if there is a special session that could be over
the property taxes because that uh... what the governors priority and we could not
reach consensus on that thought it would definitely uh... it's not a special
sessions will be
front burner next january what what do you and the democratic party wants the
as far as uh... property taxes state of iowa
well i owner a piece of commercial property i would like to see some relief
but i cannot vote for that if it's just a shift under residential address and
that's what you see would be happening
uh... under the current proposal
the trick
is is how do you back fill for the county when you actually it's just like
the cat
emini tax when we first eliminated that the county's basically lost revenue and
that's a real big fear because the state is making cuts it obviously are certainly getting a
local governments and really good that giving mandates down the counties in the not
funding and so they have some really
collegiate concerns
but what our proposal wasn't from the house republicans is that we would
backfill for the county's what revenue that they were going to lose
and i think it's important when we talk about commercial property
that we're not talking about
corporate property we're talking about anybody who owns the building
that has more than three people in three places in it if you have an
apartment building that's
commercial property
so that's includes rent some people of having people having the highest commercial property
in the nation property tax is a bad thing and it does hurt business
development so we all have to come to some kind of agreement
where we actually recognize that we are in trouble with her commercial
property and when it comes to a special session jim as far as uh... you know it
really depends upon what
the senate leadership the democrats
and the governor
come to an agreement before you guys we've called in will exactly i i don't
think the governor would call a special session unless he has an agreement with
the senate democrats
we will go up there and spend a week
accomplish anything do the other area issues that i think it's an interesting
one is not having to do with that the secret taping is inside of uh...
agricultural facilities we just saw another example of it uh... awhile ago
in regards to uh... perhaps of
um... abuse of of pigs and an iowa farm um... linda let's start with you u
the house version
um... this bill
would have made it illegal
uh... for person to secretly videotaped inside a farm property
not report it to a authorities and distributed it
the senate's was saying well wait a second your bill goes way to far and
there's first amendment rights to look into
is the senate wrong with the house going too far
i think again you have
first of all
people who own property to have rights
uh... about people trespassing on their property without permission so you've
these are actually employees that is where you can employees who basically word
then uh... we're doing it for different low don't think you could get them on
probably not but if i think the whole idea was if there were employed for the
sole purpose
of doing videotaping under and then they actually staged the events
um... that was one thing it
it just seems like to me there's so many different variables here
that we're trying to legislate
that there was not a consensus there was not a consensus in the house
on that at being a legislator from bettendorf for the most part we do not
have a lot of this
kind of activity
in in
my district but
the thing is is that
i'd also don't want animals the abuse its a fine line
actually that seems to be what it is is that uh... is animal cruelty or that
can you create legislate something that pleases
i think it i think it'll be tough because even even if somebody of had
good intentions and they worked for a place and then seeing and abuse
under one version of what you couldn't even
video tape that
uh... so it gets it's gonna be tough to reach a consensus
like linda i'm urban legislator so i don't have a lot of uh...
emails pouring in on that issue but it it is important i don't see any animal
another issue that was coming up of course is additional nuclear power in
the state of iowa since this is stalled as well pushed by mid american energy
to add another nuclear power plant in iowa a lot people were worried because
there was a lot of lobbying a lot
money being thrown around as the sun and then you get the fukushima nuclear power
plant in japan was probably had more any lawmaker had to do with uh...
perhaps a stalling this out at do you do you want to see more nuclear power in
i think i think that uh... nuclear power have to be part of the equation i'm on
the commerce committee
i voted for that bill
out of commerce to keep it alive attended ending and i voted no on the
house floor uh... because part of that was that japan the timing
was horrible but to be honest i want to be the same as japan's i mean i was kind
of apple and orange is with the now well it did
uh... the up the other thing is is
what is there enough safeguards for
the consumer back here in the mid america never wherever they
uh... are was there too much
on that consumer before a plant was even built that was the thing that was the thing linda
people were a little worried as an american wasn't really get an exact full on how
much uh... customer bills might go up right i think especially either
senior citizens who are on a fixed income
uh... utility bills are are worrisome
even under the bestest circumstances and then you at into
the pre cost
actually just looking at developing a nuclear power plants and they were good
fold those into utility rates
i think that's a concern and i i am and i'm not sure that our utility board
actually something it seems likely that go with the utilities most of the time
and and so i think some of the consumers felt that they
did not have a voice
and um... you know so you get your as a legislator your job is to try to
weigh those and balance those kinds of concerns because
jim's right about the fact that in iowa we don't want to limit any poppy
power any any at energy
uh... but that we could possibly get that would be first of all nuclear
energy is the cleanest energy so i think the nets zero uh...
uh... producer so
we we hope that we can
provide some balance but the consensus was that there is a big issue it's going
to take us a while to work our way through nuclear power and i had to make
that the last question and we scratched the surface of what you did in the
session in which you still have to do so you will come back
and join us once again o hope Representative miller representative likem thank
you so much for joining us
uh... well we don't want to rush summer along with this fall we hope that you'll
remember wqpt september riverfront fundraiser called brew ha ha
upon the groups playing music at le claire park will be the quad cities band wicked liz
belly swirls
here they are
with their song
walking by myself
that's wicked liz and the belly swirs brew ha ha is coming up saturday
september seventeenth starts at one in the afternoon a mark that down on your
calendar time for lora adams now tells more what's going on in the cities is she's
going out and about
hi i'm lora adams and this is out in about four july fourteenth through
twenty coming up on wqpt american experience presents great famine a
documentary takes a look at america's relief campaign to help soviet russia
during the devastating famine in nineteen twenty rock isand, il
is the place to be for the american celebration train festival
you'll hear the sound of steam whistle clicky clack of steel wheels
with displays in rides providing all of the excitement of childhood on stage in
the quad cities for the kids there's if you give a mouse a cookie or he
shares his snack with a hungry demanding mouse and learns the whole areas lesson
about cause and effect and hairspray tony award-winning musical continues its
join distribute to the nineteen sixties plus the last five years years
runs through july thirtieth at the
district theater for information on these and other events log on to
wqpt dot org
as always thank so much lora it
has been the home to some creative takes on rather familiar productions but now
harrison hilltop tis seeing its familiar surroundings change for the
for one thing
they no longer on the hill top of harrison street what is going on here
joining me now is tristen of harrison hilltop good man how are you
i'm doing fine on here is that on a hilltop and now not so much
yet well you know we opened three years ago no one knew we were so i thought
what were on harrison street on the hill we might have looked at this
because the ideal person that we're not uh... yes
i think if people do we wear well we made the decision to move in at lease
was up
and i was faced with been interesting decision and it was that that we keep
the name do we not
uh... we decided to keep thename for now for now at least through december
we're going to get a transition into just being called the district theater so
if i move again then we can have this conversation about me
keepin and they were not located to that and look forward to that the other
districts theater is the appear that's located near the centennial bridge where
the old brew and view was located
looks like a perfect place at this stage really nice for us to know
what we're known for sticking a building that's not necessarily a theater and
making art in it and you know
necessarily set up as a
typical statesville except for one sure uh...
and so here we can say things a little bit differently and dude twist on things
that really works out really well hum it still has that in your face feel
is that somehow more rewarding and it's almost like do you
think i mean they always say the radios and tvs yet he's your imagination well
if you have such small that you don't have all the uh... proms and
everything image work a little harder
yet and you know our audiences seem to it's really hard to go to the theater
not being engadged
uh... when you go to a bigger house and sitting amid you know eighth throw in a
darkened theaters he's disengage but the actor to see you the entire show an
half the time he is right on your lap so don't be chewing gum
jesus christ in for stars why did you pick that
uh... we know we're looking for uh... you know
summer uh... blockbuster sell something here this summer to so
much going on right all the outdoor events that have been in the district
with something going on
something that was going to bring in the crowds yet we can still put our own spin
on without
getting you know
for lack of adequate crucified s um...
yeah it's really turned out well in about a lot of people really talented
people from the quad cities out
it's it's a difficult musical doing that yes it is
and your jesus christ you got hair cut this interview at i take it
thank you know
we uh... that wasn't my decision actually a i had to be talking
about for a couple months
but some also in another show the front even rep which opens tonight called the
last five years i'm doing two shows at once
and problem out of my mind jim yes it is a
that's a bit plus running a theater that is brand spanking new
still freelance all over the region cousteau recollections recognition
right now i'm directing a show out of town so i'm in town part of the week
set yet another
i'm awake for this interview tha'ts alright
tell you what city you're in it at the moment this is also
anniversaries reporting on it is a little different this year is that you
are going to have a a repertory here are method something that has been the
quad cities and every single year because celebrating a different way
uh... the first anniversary celebrate with uh... do our first musical see how that
that went
on the second anniversary we did a stephen sondheim show which is the you
know v alternate useful theater piece
we'll try something new uh... and in our next season will go into complete
so what are you looking forward to as far as the audience's concern for this
for this month you've got to productions going on usually comes to want to come
to the other
their two incredibly different taste very true and so what i'm trying to
do is to give something little bit of everybody
more the general public is going to jesus christ superstar and more of the
you know more the theater people and more artsy for part of the last five
years has little bit
different edge you know superstars but a lot last five years it is
um... from trying to kind of uh...
target two different demographics that well i have to be honest i mean you are
stretch yourself thin as an actor to be doing
and very different from things like that idea how do you put your hat on the
before you're doing each production outdid yourself into a mantra to
yourself this you noted honestly everything i'm doing is a dream
come true right when i was eighteen i list some goals out
you know by this point i want to do this and
uh... and i'm still on target with that and
it's a lot of work right now but i think you know that think eventually
last couple years things do pay off
and all the work that i'm doing now is also a life
some learning experiences thing no one interesting thing is going to play two
roles like i'm trying to do i think that's a little bit taxing
but yeah you know i'm very at
on you know do you know i'm just out of my mind and i think that is part of this
business and if you're not you know
you'll find some of the flight as you said i think this is a small enough
intimate enough theater
um... that uh... you can see the audience do you see the audience
reacting out by the reacting well to what's being put on as you know you know
it's interesting to as a producer is really hard for me to just sometimes
just be in the show
it gets a little easier as we go but you know filipino all the elements anand
concern about the audience reaction to that want them to come back that's what
keeps doors open
uh... but with this show it's really interesting bears some people that are
extremely moved by abut their whole system people that it is very angered by
the concept that we we said late sixties uh... you know the apostles of victims
of drug dealers things like that
uh... and interesting to watch some people are incredibly spiritually moved
in some people are just
you know
you know the interesting thing is no one is left
so we're going to go that way
well you know we wanted to be some a little bit different we didn't want to
go to the fiscal biblical routes and mohit dot talking about it um...
you know it seemed to work with a lot of stuff is going on today without putting
a present-day um... you know like a lot of the pre somethings they're and
military men and you know it's kind of busy young teenage students this older
mature population and s
there's still some of that happening today
then it was even more parents that was just easier to kind of dive back into
that era and can't pick up on some stuff
come see it
come see it often
tristen capsule thanks so much harrison hilltop plans for october
touch of murder in them uh oh they're gonna be performing chicago
and the rocky horror picture show talk about two very different things if i got
all the details on the theater and its productions and it's through the looking
website hairston hilltop dot com and speaking of web sites we've got some
experiments that may interest your kids at the wqptt dot org gravity
molecules eggs and water
what combination is all part of our science for kids experiment section at
the need to be t dot org it is a special wqpt project funded through a grant
from alcoa when you get the chance check it out
thanks for spending part of your evening with us and
we ought to learn something new tonight about the cities
production funding for the cities is provided by a grant from the doris
and victor day foundation