I have always said that when it comes to the Super Bowl, don’t ever bet against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. So far this winter, Mother Nature is a lot like Brady. She just keeps winning.
I have tried to outguess her this year, but she just changes the play and gets the victory in the end. With rain, snow, ice, wind, fog, sleet and extreme cold, I believe we have just about seen it all-and the girls state tournament hasn’t started yet!
It appears we have an agreement among key players regarding K-12 education funding.
Companion bills are moving through both the House and the Senate, and it looks like we should have a final bill on the Governor’s desk by February 15th, which by law is when it is supposed to be on her desk.
The agreement would appropriate $78.6 million for Supplemental State Aid, $7.8 million for transportation costs and $2.9 million for pupil equity issues. The $7.8 million for transportation will be added on to the $11.2 million we did last year for a total of $19 million this year.
Of course, not everyone is okay with these numbers, but this is most likely what will come up for a vote, and I will vote yes.
Committees continue to meet and we are now seeing a few bills becoming eligible for floor debate. I would guess that we will debate the K-12 education funding bills next week, and then begin chipping away at mostly non-controversial bills during the next couple of weeks.
Before this session is over, we will probably end up passing a couple hundred bills that will be signed into law by the Governor.
This is the time in the session when legislators welcome many visitors to the Capitol. This week, I had the pleasure of bringing two constituents into the House Chamber. On Tuesday, Dr. Kimberly Lingenfelter, Superintendent at Cherokee, was here to discuss education issues.
I escorted her into the House Chamber, and was able to introduce her to my good friend Cecil Dolecheck, who is also the Chairman of the House Education Committee. We had some great conversation. It was great having Kim sit with me at my desk, discussing the many issues that are important to her and the many students she cares about.
On Wednesday, Lacie Sleezer from Aurelia visited the Capitol on behalf of the Iowa Occupational Therapy Association. Lacie is a student at Drake University in Des Moines, and she did a great job of explaining the issues which are important to her and her future occupation.
Having a few minutes of free time, I took Lacie and two of her friends to the Secretary of the State’s office for a tour. I mention these two events to stress the importance of being involved in what you care about and taking the time to visit the State Capitol to visit with your state legislator.
For me, it is not only very educational, it is also truly enjoyable and I encourage everyone to experience our free and open state government if you get the chance.
You may reach me at the Capitol during the week by phoning me at 515-281-3221, or home at 712-434-5880. You may write me at the State Capitol, Des Moines, Iowa 50319.
My home address is P. O. Box 398, Aurelia, Iowa 51005. If you have email, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.