The “Older Iowans Legislature” is pushing for a state ban on texting while driving. Blaine Donaldson of Kingsley was elected “House Speaker” of the “Older Iowans Legislature” which convened in Des Moines this week. “I followed a young lady on (the Interstate) Sunday on the way down here,” Donaldson says.
“She was text messaging and her speed was varying from 55 to 70 miles an hour and you didn’t dare pass her because she was weaving all over the road — and this is dangerous.” Members of the “Older Iowans Legislature” have voted to make a ban on texting while driving one of the priority issues they’ll ask state legislators to address in 2010.
“Any time you are inattentive — and I happen to be one of the people who don’t even believe in using a cell phone while you’re driving — but if you’re inattentive, you’re going to increase your possible risk of an accident,” Donaldson says. The Older Iowans Legislature is asking state lawmakers to set aside $8.5 million next year for home-based health care services.
Donaldson says seniors know the state budget is tight, but helping the elderly stay in their own homes is more cost-effective in the long run than nursing home care. “We recognize that in tough times there are going to have to be cuts,” Donaldson says. “Most of us have lived through two and some of us three depressions or recessions and so we recognize the problems and probably recognize the problems better than some of the (members of the) General Assembly.” The 31st annual Older Iowans Legislature met in Des Moines on Monday and Tuesday.