Lifelong Public Servant
Jack served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1985 to 1993. In 1993, he accepted the position of State Director with U.S. Senator Tom Harkin. He returned to the Iowa House after winning election in November of 2000 and then won his first term to the Iowa Senate in 2002.
Presently, Jack is chair of the Senate Health & Human Services Budget Subcommittee. He also serves on the Economic Growth, Human Resources, State Government, Labor & Business Relations, and Appropriations committees.
During his legislative career, Jack is known for health care reform, children and family services, small business development and social and economic justice issues.
In a distinguished 22-year career in the Iowa House and Senate, Jack’s become known as a serious policymaker with a track record of fighting and winning for Iowans. From health care reform to environmental protection, Jack has written some of the most significant legislation of the past three decades in Iowa.
- Authored 1989’s comprehensive “point source” contamination clean-up, the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Act
- Co-sponsored the legislation that created Resource Enhancement Program.
Jack’s also been a fighter for a better Iowa when it comes to specific issues he’s passionate about:
In June of 2009, Jack was appointed chair of the White House Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform. In that capacity, he led state legislators, who are health reform experts from around the country, in advising the President and Congress on national proposals for health reform.
In the Iowa Legislature, Jack leads the fight in reforming Iowa’s health care system:
- Led the Legislature’s comprehensive health care reform effort, including a commitment to health care coverage for all Iowa children (giving Iowa has the highest percentage of children covered of any state in the county).
- Created the Community Health Center Incubator Program and the Iowa Collaborative Safety Net Provider Network.
- Consolidated state efforts in creating health information technology.
- Expanded access to public and private health insurance.
- Created prevention and chronic care management services.
For his accomplishments in health care, Jack has been acknowledged as a leader in health care reform by the Iowa-Nebraska Primary Care Association, the Iowa Health Care Association, the Polk County Medical Society, Iowa Care Givers Association, American Chiropractic Association, Broadlawns Medical Center, Iowa Association of Homes & Services for the Ageing, the Iowa Academy for Family, SEIU, the Iowa Dental Association, Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association, and the Iowa Public Health Association.
Children and Family Services.
Children and families have also been a major focus for Jack. He protected many child welfare agencies from horrendous cuts and helped create new programs that protect children:
- Created the HOPE child abuse protection services
- Developed a program for college education for any Foster Care Children still under the state’s guardianship at the age of 18
- Created and expanded the aftercare program for Foster Care
- Provided leadership in expanding mental health services to children and families
- Expanded the families self sufficiency program
For this strong advocacy, Jack has been recognition for his work with children by the Youth Homes of Mid America, the Coalition for Family & Children’s Services in Iowa, the Iowa Community Action Association, Iowa Family Development Alliance, Orchard Place and Youth Emergency Shelter and Services.
As a small businessman, Jack knows the difficulty of keeping a business growing. He sponsored or co-sponsored legislation to do the following:
- Reduced commercial property taxes
- Expanded state historic, Brownfield and Greyfield tax credits
- Increased services for targeted small business
- Supported the Small Business Development Centers
- Proposed small business health care tax credits
- Created incentives for commercialization of university research
Senator Hatch received the ‘Community Spirit Award’ from the Des Moines Business Record publication and the Tai Village Development leadership award.