Legislative Update for 04/08/2022

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Legislative Update for 04/08/2022

The weather is bleak, but at least I have warm thoughts of the start of the baseball season to keep me going (Cubs won the opener, by the way…). 

This newsletter will be on the shorter side. Last week, you’ll recall that we talked about several big items including the House education appropriations bill (House File 2575) and work on the Governor’s education policies in the Senate (Senate File 2369). Both bills were moved to the other chamber and assigned to committees, but otherwise saw no action this week. 

Other bills that were considered this week include HF604, which was brought up for debate in the Senate. This bill has a long history. The current version was introduced in the House last year but stalled in the Senate. Because we are within the same General Assembly, the bill remained “alive” between sessions and was reintroduced a few weeks ago. On Tuesday, the bill was brought up for debate on the Senate floor, where an amendment was introduced that made several changes to the bill. In general, the bill does the following:

  • Calls on the Department to work with the State School for the Deaf, the Area Education Agencies, school districts, and the Department of Public Health to collaborate, develop, and disseminate resources for use by the deaf and hard of hearing community.
  • If funds are appropriated, requires the Department to develop guidelines for a comprehensive family support mentoring program. 

As amended, the bill was voted out of the Senate by a vote of 48-0 and sent to the House. The House quickly took up on the bill on Wednesday, where the chamber concurred with the Senate amendment and passed the bill by a vote of 97-0. The bill now goes to the Governor. 

The House Ways and Means committee moved SF2377 where it now goes to the full chamber for consideration. The bill makes changes to the Teach Iowa Scholar program, the teacher intern licenses issued by the Board of Educational Examiners, and expands the management levy to allow school districts to implement a teacher recruitment incentive program. 

We’re also tracking progress on another of the Governor’s bills which includes numerous regulatory provisions. Division II of the bill relates work-based learning and grants the authority for the Department to implement additional reporting processes in order to gather additional information on work-based learning experiences. It establishes a work-based learning supervisor certification under the Board of Educational Examiners. Lastly, it modifies the individual career and academic planning process and calls for new elements related to FAFSA completion and work-based learning. This week, the Senate considered SF2383 and passed it on a vote of 48-0. It now goes to the House, which has its own version of the bill, HF2569, but has not brought it up for a floor vote. 

The House finished work on appropriations bills this week, sending the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF) and health and human services bills to the Senate. We are in a holding pattern to see when and how the Senate will take up these bills.

Eric St Clair
Legislative Liaison
Iowa Department of Education
Grimes State Office Building
400 E 14th St
Des Moines, IA 50319-0146
Cell: 515-326-0274