This week we had our first floor action of the session. We passed three bills out of the House. The first bill that passed was Senate File 2144 as amended on Monday. This bill would
appropriate $333,000 for the Glenwood State Resource Center for fiscal year 2020. This bill would also appropriate $21,003,186 to the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency
Management for flood relief and mitigation for fiscal year 2020. The Department of Human Resources, Flood Mitigation Board, and Department of Homeland Security would be required to
send monthly reports to the appropriate Legislators and the Legislative Services Agency. These reports would tell how they have used the funds and give a report of on-going projects that are
funded through the supplemental appropriations.
Next we passed SF 2164, which would add $10 to the State Cost Per Pupil for the fiscal year 2021 to help equalize state aid. The bill would also appropriate $26.25 million for Fiscal Year
2021 to the Transportation Equity Fund.
Third, we passed Senate File 2142 as amended. It would increase state aid $ 94.7 million for the fiscal year 2021. This bill would make the current language regarding Property Tax Replacement
Payments apply to fiscal years 2018 and 2019 and make a new calculation for the Property Tax Replacement Payments for the fiscal year 2021 and years following.
Ever since I came up here in 2013 I have been working on school transportation. The cost of transportation in some of our school districts in the 7th House district is higher than the state
average. Funding for transportation is important but the cost difference between what we are spending and the state average is substantial. The money that we are spending above the average
on transportation is money that could be going towards our classrooms. I have been working on this problem for several years now. The way the law is now, the school can only use state funds
for transporting secondary students that live 3 miles or more away from the school and elementary students that live 2 miles or more away from the school. I have heard that some
school districts are acting outside of this law. There are people looking into this. This problem needs to be fixed.
House File 663:
I submitted this bill at the end of last session. This bill would create a savings grant fund that would make a given amount of funds available to each student that is receiving competent
nonpublic education in grades K-12 for educational purposes. If a student didn’t use all of the money in his fund by the time they graduated from high school, they would be able to use the
remaining funds for college. Once the student reaches a certain age the money that is left in their account would come back to the state. We held the subcommittee for this bill on Wednesday. It
drew the attention of several different groups because the topic is of a controversial nature. Discussion of the bill lasted for nearly an hour with House File 663 passing out of subcommittee.
The next phase in the process for this bill is to move to full committee.
Delivering the Iowa Official Register:
I had the pleasure of stopping by some of the libraries in our district and delivering copies of the Iowa Official Register. I made to the Thompson, Forest City, and Algona Libraries.
My next forum will be in Estherville at the Regional Wellness Center on March 7th. The time is yet to be determined. There will be three in Winnebago County March 20th and one in Kossuth
County March 21st. Thank you for allowing me to serve you in this position. If you have any questions please email, call, write, or meet with me.
My e-mail is: email@example.com
My cell phone number is: 515-538-0117
Representative Tedd Gassman