Legislative Update for 06/02/2020

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Legislative Update for 06/02/2020

Shanlyn SeivertTomorrow on June 3, at 9 a.m. the sound of the gavels will signifying that the 2020 legislative session has officially resumed. The focus this week will be on policy bills. Friday has been designated as the second funnel, which means bills will need to have passed in one chamber and passed in a Committee in the other chamber in order to survive. I’ll keep you posted as it becomes clear which bills will be moving forward this legislative session.

As noted in my previous legislative update, there will be health and safety measures established at the Capitol in preparation for the reconvening of the legislative session. For subcommittee meetings, members of the public are strongly encouraged to submit written comments.  All committee meetings will be held in the House and Senate Chambers, where they can be live streamed on the legislative website. If you would like to watch the process live streamed, I’ve included the link to the In the Chambers web-page. 

The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) met on May 29, 2020, and decreased the state revenue estimate for fiscal year 2020 by $149.5 million compared to the fiscal year 2020 REC March estimate. The REC decreased the fiscal year 2021 estimate by $360.1 million compared to the fiscal year 2021 March estimate. These adjustments are due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy. For additional details, I’ve included the link to the Legislative Services Agency REC summary

The Department of Education (Department) continues to facilitate weekly webinars to provide support to school districts in developing their Return to Learn plans. You can find the Return to Learn Guidance on the Department’s COVID webpage, and there are new Return to Learn resources available on the Return to Learn Support Site for school districts. Last week, the Department released guidance on a number of topics including: Summer Transportation; Summer Sports; Summer Learning and Activities; and Use of School Facilities.

Lastly, the Department will soon be releasing a technology needs assessment survey to school districts to assist in addressing technology barriers for students and families. The survey is a collaborative effort with the State Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and the Governor's Office. The responses from the survey will help prioritize funding to secure resources in areas of the state with the greatest need.

Until next time...

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