SUNDAY TALK: Upmeyer on the Eight Week of Session

Legislative Session Reaches Halfway Point
This week marked the 50th day of the 100-day legislative session. The first funnel deadline has passed and the second funnel is coming up soon. Debate is picking up in both chambers as the House and Senate work to advance priority legislation.
 
Here is an update on where House Republican priorities currently stand:
 
Child Care

  • HF 771: Expanding the child care tax credit to more families – Passed House in 2019
  • HFs 2593 and 2594: Incentivizing employers to offer and expand child care to their employees – On debate calendar
  • HF 2424: Addressing the cliff effect to ease Iowans off of government assistance  –On debate calendar
  • HFs 2270 and 2271: Increasing child care assistance provider rates to increase access –On debate calendar
  • HF 2488: Creating a public-private partnership child care workforce matching grant program – On House calendar
  • HF 2595: Incentivizing developers to build high quality and safe day care facilities  – On debate calendar

 
Broadband

  • HF 2213: Extends the Iowa Cell Siting Act to streamline regulations and deploy 5G faster – On debate calendar
  • HF 2520: Establishes broadband expansion as an economic development tool and reduces installation costs for providers – On debate calendar
  • HF 2459: Empower Rural Iowa which will provide broadband grants and authorizes more accurate mapping – In Appropriations
  • HF 2575: Exempts broadband grants from state income tax – On debate calendar
  • HF 2442: Creates a study on internet exchange points to establish Iowa as a Silicon Prairie – On debate calendar

 
Education

  • SF 2142: Increased investment in general aid for K-12 schools by $85 million – Sent to the Governor
  • SF 2164: Additional $7.65 million in funding for rural school transportation costs – Signed by the Governor
  • SF 2164: Reducing per pupil inequity in the school funding formula by $10 per student ($5.8 million) – Signed by the Governor
  • HF 2532: Helping train teachers to deal with disruptive student behavior and make classrooms safe– In Appropriations

 
Health Care

  • HFs 2551 and 2553: Prescription drug transparency – On House calendar
  • HF 2138: Capping out-of-pocket insulin costs – On House calendar
  • HF 2383: Retaining Iowa health care professionals – Passed House
  • HF 2197: Exposes health care professionals-in-training to rural areas                  – Passed House
  • HF 2192: Increased access to health care services through telehealth                  – On House calendar.


House and Senate Finalize K-12 Education Funding Package

This week, the House and Senate finalized K-12 funding for the upcoming school year. Iowa’s schools will receive almost $100 million in new money for the 2020-21 school year, with additional resources specifically targeted towards critical needs like rural school transportation costs and per pupil equity.
 
The agreement breaks down as follows:
 

Supplemental State Aid $85.57 million
Rural Transportation $7.65 million
Per Pupil Equity $5.8 million
TOTAL $99.02 million

 
Since 2011, investment in Iowa’s schools has grown to an all-time high of nearly $3.4 billion annually, an increase of almost $1 BILLION over the last decade. K-12 funding makes up around 43% of Iowa’s budget, making it the top spending priority each year. Under Republican leadership, school funding has never been cut, student achievement ranks among the best in the nation, class sizes are decreasing even with growing enrollment, and Iowa teacher pay is highly competitive when compared to other states.
 
With school funding settled, House Republicans will continue working on additional ways to improve Iowa’s education system for students, parents, and teachers. The Education Committee has been working on bipartisan legislation to ensure the best learning environment for students by helping train teachers on strategies to deal with disruptive student behavior and make classrooms safe.
 
House Republicans will continue to prioritize Iowa’s schools and ensure our kids get a world-class education that prepares them for a career, college, and real life.
 
I would once again like to thank all of my constituents back home who have allowed me the privilege and honor to serve as their voice in the Iowa House.

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