Legislative Update for 04/12/2019

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Legislative Update for 04/12/2019

Shanlyn Seivert

At the end of last week, most bills were either placed on the unfinished business calendar or referred back to their respective committee. If a bill is placed on the unfinished business calendar, it is still under consideration for this legislative session. If a bill is referred back to its respective committee, it is considered dead for this legislative session, but can be resurrected next legislative session. Both chambers spent most of the week debating bills that had been placed on the unfinished business calendar, however, those debates did not include education bills.

There were several education bills that survived the second funnel, as they were either referred to Appropriations or Ways and Means. For those bills, committee work continues in hopes of preparing them for debate on the chamber floor. Those bills were included in the April 5 Legislative Update.  

The majority of state agency appropriations bills have been released and are in different stages of the legislative process. As I shared in the April 5 Legislative Update, HF 758 – Education Appropriations, passed the House and was sent to the Senate. Some of the highlights from that bill are an increase of $356,000 for Career and Technical Secondary Education, an increase of $500,000 for Iowa Learning Online and an increase of $3 million for Children's Mental Health Training, which is allocated to the Area Education Agencies. We are anticipating the Senate’s Education Appropriations bill to be released next week.

There was a subcommittee held on HF 592 - Statewide Preschool Eligibility. The bill changes the statewide preschool program for four-year-old children to the statewide preschool program for young children and allows both four and five-year-olds to attend. The bill survived the second funnel, as it was referred to Appropriations. The subcommittee members signed the bill making it eligible for a vote in the Appropriations Committee.

Floor debates will continue next week as well as committee work for bills in Appropriations and Ways and Means. There are several bills listed in the April 5 Legislative Update that are in different stages of the legislative process. If there is a bill that you are concerned may or may not pass, there is still time to contact your legislator and share your concerns. If you are not sure how to contact your legislator, I’ve included the link to the Legislators page.

The official last day of this legislative session is May 3. After that date, legislators no longer receive a per diem and are responsible for their own expenses. There is a lot of work to be completed in the next four weeks, so stay tuned and informed by watching the daily debates in both chambers. Until next week…

Shan Seivert
Policy Liaison
Iowa Department of Education
Cell: 515-326-5595
Office: 515-281-3399