Legislative Update for 05/20/2022

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Legislative Update for 05/20/2022

Remember my remarks on how quickly Legislators are capable of moving once they reach agreement on something? There is no better example than Wednesday, where the Senate went from no appropriations bills to all appropriations bills ready for floor debate in the matter of one day. 

The Senate appropriations committee convened on Wednesday and over the course of the day took up all the appropriations bills introduced and passed by the House. The committee used a procedural process known as subcommittee of the whole whereby the full appropriations committee “dissolved” into a subcommittee for purposes of considering the bills and allowing for public comment, then reformed as a full committee. 

The House and Senate came to agreement on amendments to several of the appropriations bills, which were introduced and adopted in full committee. The chambers, as of Wednesday, had not finished negotiations around the education (House File 2575), health and human services, and justice system appropriations bills, so the committee considered and voted out the original bills as passed by the House. We’ll watch for any changes to these bills to be introduced on the Senate floor. 

The committee took up two new appropriations bills, Senate File 2385 - administration and regulation appropriations and SF2384 - standing appropriations. The former, SSB3163, is the Senate’s alternative to the House’s administration and regulations appropriations bill, HF2565. With SF2384 - standing appropriations, all appropriations bills that need to be passed by the Legislature have been introduced (the House did not introduce a standing appropriations bill). The bill includes several funding “override” provisions (e.g., adjusts or limits the amount of funding generated by formula established in statute), capping nonpublic school transportation at approximately $9 million, zeroing out the funds for instructional support state aid, and reducing Area Education Agency funding by $17 million, with at least $2 million of the total reduction pulled from professional development funds. It’s worth noting that the AEA funding is reduced by $15 million each year, so what is proposed is an additional $2 million reduction.

All the appropriations bills will need to be voted on in the Senate and, due to the amendments, will go back to the House for a vote as well. 

It appears members will return to Des Moines next week to start wrapping things up. On Monday, the House and Senate will gavel in at 10:00 AM, but I have not seen a debate calendar for either chamber so don’t have a sense of what we’ll see move and when. 

We’ll check back in next week to see how close we are to Sine Die. Until then, please feel free to contact me with any questions. 

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