Newsletter | April 1, 2021

To the People of House District 54

Week 12 of the 2021 Iowa Legislative Session was the second funnel week, which means bills that originated in the Senate had to pass through a House committee to stay alive. Bills that originated in the House had to passed through a Senate committee to stay alive. 

 

 

Broadband

  • House File 848 passed unanimously.

  • The Iowa House has made it a priority to increase broadband speeds and ensure Iowans in “broadband deserts” get connected. 

  • Statewide broadband is becoming a necessity because more people are working remotely and opportunities are expanding for telehealth. 

  • This bill sets a framework to aggressively build Iowa’s broadband infrastructure.

  • The next step is to address the financial investment needed to expand broadband. That will happen during the budget-making process underway through Appropriations.

 
Child Care

 

  • Access to affordable, quality childcare is a priority for Iowa House members, so we passed 10 bills to help address the crisis through a multi-pronged approach. 

  • These House files increase the child care workforce, increase provider rates to maintain existing child care facilities, provide incentives to develop new child care facilities, and help hard-working families afford the high cost of child care. 

  • While some of these bills did not survive the second funnel deadline, many are still alive in the Senate and are awaiting further action. 

  • The Governor has indicated that she shares the House’s priority in increasing access to affordable, quality child care. It’s vital for our state’s success that these bills pass the Senate, so they can be signed by the Governor and become law. 

  • We need your help getting these bills sent to the Governor’s desk!

 

Governor’s Biofuel Bill

 

  • The Iowa House Ways and Means Committee this week passed HF 185, a bill to increase access to ethanol in Iowa. 

  • The legislation helps support an industry that is critical to our state’s economic success. In its current form, HF 185 makes a significant investment in Iowa’s renewable fuel infrastructure program. 

  • In recent weeks, I’ve received several emails from constituents about this bill. Please understand that amendments are being drafted, and conversations on the bill’s final form are ongoing. Rest assured that I am closely monitoring these developments.  

 

Stay in Touch

 

It was wonderful to receive so many visitors this week! Special thanks to Cerro Gordo County Republicans for stopping by to visit me.  

Special thanks to these Cerro Gordo County residents for visiting me at the Statehouse on April 1. Pictured from left to right are Jeanne Haas, Kristi Johnson and Karen Campbell.
It was great spending time this week with Cerro Gordo GOP Chair Julie Billings and Vice Chair Scott Miller.

The Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce will host a virtual Legislative Briefing from Sen. Amanda Ragan and Rep. Shannon Latham on Friday, April 9, at 2 P.M. To register for the event, please contact Ashley Weiss at ashley@clearlakeiowa.com or 641-357-2159.
 

Feel free to contact me with questions or concerns about bills and issues. You’re welcome to send an email to Shannon.Latham@legis.iowa.gov or message me on my political Facebook page (@ShannonLathamIA).  
 

“Front Row News” is distributed to local newspapers and interested constituents at the end of each week throughout the legislative session. “Looking Ahead with Latham” is a video update posted each Monday on my political Facebook page. 

 
Sincerely,  
Rep. Shannon Latham 
Iowa House District 54