Legislative Update for 01/21/2022

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Legislative Update for 01/21/2022

Week 2 is in the books. I read an interesting fact this morning (noted by the Iowa Legislative News Service) - at this point in time during the last legislative session, the General Assembly had introduced 550 bills; this year, over the same time period, a total of 300 bills have been introduced. As of this morning, we are tracking 64 bills, so (brushing off my math skills) we are tracking about 20 percent of all introduced bills. While the numbers may suggest a slower pace for this session overall, it certainly doesn’t feel that way in our shop!

Though a shortened week due to the state holiday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr Day, there was a significant uptick in subcommittee work this week. Notably, several bills were voted out of subcommittee and also passed out of committee, making them eligible for consideration by the full chamber. In the Senate those bills include:

  • Senate File 2081 (formerly Senate Study Bill 3002) - allows a recipient of the computer science professional development incentive fund to use the funds through September 30 of the following fiscal year.
  • SF2079 (SSB3004) - prohibits local government entities from requiring immunizations not required by the state board of health
  • SF2080 (SSB3005) - prohibits school districts from administering “invasive” physical examinations without prior written consent of the student’s parent or guardian.

In the House:

  • House Study Bill 519 - makes several adjustments to the teach Iowa scholarship grant program administered by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission.
  • HSB520 - as amended, eliminates the state-required assessment required to be administered by practitioner preparation programs.
  • HSB521 - modifies existing statute regarding school taxes related to wind energy conversion property.
  • House File 2037 - increases the superintendent shared operational function weighting from 8 to 9.

We’re also seeing work kick off with appropriations. Once my face thawed on Wednesday morning I was able to attend the House education appropriations subcommittee, where most of the meeting was devoted to a Legislative Services Agency presentation on the Governor’s budget recommendations. There is a useful interactive dashboard on LSA’s website which provides data and visualizations for various components of the Governor’s recommendations, as well as a static report specific to the education appropriations. You can also review the Governor’s full program and budget proposal available on the Iowa Department of Management’s website.

Going forward, we’ll be watching for movement on the education proposals recommended by the Governor and work to commence on K12 funding. During the week you can keep tabs on what’s happening at the Capitol by monitoring the Department’s legislative information page, which includes a legislative tracker updated daily. You can also reach out to me directly with any questions or comments.

Sending warm thoughts,

Eric St Clair
Legislative Liaison
Iowa Department of Education
Grimes State Office Building
400 E 14th St
Des Moines, IA 50319-0146
Cell: 515-729-0859