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Senator Kevin Alons (March 31, 2023)

Week twelve is now finished, which wraps up the second legislative funnel date for this year. Now we will focus on the budget and appropriations along with final bills at the end of session. With my assignment to the Appropriations Committee, I believe I will have a busy April, assuming we finish at the planned date of April 28.Last week the Senate passed SF496 – the Parental Rights and School Transparency Bill, which ensures that parents are informed of curriculum content and can access the list of books in the school library, defines that K-6 human growth and development curriculum will be age-appropriate and research-based and should not contain any instruction on gender identify or sexual orientation. This bill, along with other education reforms and funding increases, will ensure that parents are partners in the education of their children in Iowa.Another bill will certainly get attention in the coming month because it deals with property tax – a topic that is very fresh for many households and businesses as annual letters with new valuations are being received in the mail. I have heard from constituents with property tax assessment increases of $50,000 or more, which is feared will lead to large property tax increases.Senate File 356 seeks to address this potentially massive property tax increase by closing some levy rate loopholes, putting limits on year over year tax amount increases by reinstating hard caps, and forcing cities and counties to tighten their financial belt like the state government has been leading with in recent years. Note: if your property valuation rose above what is a reasonable market level – you can seek relief by appealing your valuation amount with the county or city appeal board.The topic of carbon capture pipelines has been a hot topic with citizens of Iowa and I have heard from many of you throughout the session, specifically the threatened use of eminent domain to force landowners opposed to these projects to accept transit of their property. The Iowa House passed HF565, which defined a 90% threshold for the use of eminent domain as well as other provisions to respect land owner rights. Unfortunately the bill was not advanced through committee in the Senate and therefore did not make it through the “funnel” process.Recently the latest revenue estimate was released for the state, which was even stronger than previously estimated for fiscal year 2024. It highlights the positive financial situation conservative leadership has achieved for the state and provides support for the preliminary budget projected by Governor Reynolds and the legislature. I look forward to finalizing the budget for the coming year and am honored to work for the constituents of my district in this important role.
Hinton and Lawton-Bronson teachers & FFA students in the Senate chamber

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