Greetings from the Iowa Capitol
This has been a week that started a bit more slowly than what has happened in the weeks past, but we still were able to pass 15 bills and 2 resolutions on Wednesday. Nothing particularly controversial in any of those because they were mostly corrections to past deficiencies.
The prevailing conversations have been about tax issues and education issues. There is a very strong amount of effort to continue to enact policies that will give parents more authority in the decisions that are made for their children’s education, and give teachers more freedom to do the absolute best for those they serve. I am always encouraged by my conversations with Governor Reynolds because that is really fundamental to her entire initiative for education, and she relies on those of us who have teaching experience.
She has laid out a plan to consolidate the 37 agencies under her into 16, and it is pretty well thought out so far, but one we will be studying very soon. Her plan is projected to save the state of Iowa millions of dollars by eliminating needless duplication. Currently, Iowa has one of the largest number of Executive agencies of any state Government in the nation. Doing this will increase efficiency and can lead to either further tax cuts or better use of the money we save.
It looks like we are expecting between 4 and 7 inches of snow here in Des Moines. I’m hoping to get on the road by sometime Thursday as I head back to Sioux City, but we are always at the mercy of the weather. I continue to be impressed, even with those with whom I disagree, that there is a real initiative here to do things for the benefit of those we serve. I am honored to be part. I want to again encourage you to contact me at any time with issues that are important to you that you feel we should be working on. I can’t promise that those will rise to the top, but I can assure you that I will give them my attention.
My clerk Sarah will include a list of other items that might be of interest.
Below you will find a list of the bills that were passed in the House this week, with links to their text on the legislative website:
- SF 157 – Administration of final test of driver education course
- SF 181 – Property and income taxes
- HF 204 – Vehicles that traverse against gate or signal at railroad crossings
- HF 205 – Distribution of barrel tax revenues collected on beer
- HF 206 – Assessment of property containing aboveground storage tanks
- HF 207 – Assessment and taxation of sanitary sewage and storm water drainage property
- HF 216 – Paternity in actions before juvenile court
- HF 232 – Probate proceedings
- HF 243 – Insurance coverage for treatment of autism spectrum disorder
- HF 248 – Electric power generating facility emission plans and projects
- HF 250 – Application for certificate of franchise authority
- HF 257 – Third-party testers for commercial learner’s permit and driver’s license
- HF 258 – Commercial learner’s permits and driver’s licenses
- HF 259 – Matters under purview of department of veterans affairs