To the People of House District 54

To the People of House District 54

After spending the past month “on call” waiting for House and the Senate leadership to iron out differences between our two chambers’ budget bills, an agreement was reached. Both chambers adjourned sine die, bringing the 89th Iowa General Assembly to a close shortly after midnight on May 25.
I’ll summarize some of the bills we passed below. For a recap of all action taken each day by the Iowa House, check out the archives.

The focus of last week’s floor action was budget bills. On Monday, we passed budgets for Agriculture and Natural Resources (HF 2560), Health and Human Services (HF 2578), Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (HF 2579), Justice Systems (HF 2559), and Education (HF 2575). The Iowa House also passed policy bills including:

  • HF 2595 creates a student loan repayment program for mental health professionals. Priority will be given to Iowa residents who have at least a master’s degree and are practicing in a mental health shortage area. The professional must agree to practice full-time for at least five consecutive years or part-time for seven consecutive years.
  • HF 2497 originally was focused on the addition of “sports-related events” to the betting options and cashless wagering systems. A Senate amendment added a two-year moratorium on the new state gaming licenses.
  • SF 2367 includes 11 tax-related divisions. This bill eliminates sales tax on diapers, as well as income tax on the $1,000 teacher bonuses. It also takes care of the solar tax credit applications, which were previously denied when the solar tax credit fund was exhausted.

Last week the Iowa Senate passed some bills that the House had sent them weeks ago including:

  • HF 2081 eliminates the Praxis test, which has been a hurdle that has kept some new teachers from getting licensure.
  • HF 2470 implements recommendations from the Artisanal Butchery Taskforce, including the framework for an artisanal butchery community college program to train operators and employees of small meat processing businesses in the state.
  • SF 2378 modernizes Iowa’s bottle bill. Redemption centers will receive a 3-cent handling fee. The bill creates a penalty of $10 per can (up to $5,000) for knowingly redeeming unmarked (out-of-state) cans or bottles.
Standings Bill
The final budget bill passed is the Standings bill (HF 2589). This bill is traditionally a catchall for technical changes, as well as for legislation that passed only in one chamber.
One significant part of this year’s Standings bill eliminates the March 1 deadline for open enrollment to another school district. The receiving district needs to have the capacity to accept the student, and all current laws remain in place for athletic eligibility.

This provision in the Standings Bill will help provide additional school choice for parents and students who feel like their voices are not being heard by administrators and school board members. If an incident happens after March 1, students will not be trapped in that school for another year. Parents and students in Iowa have school choice by leaving their local public school district to open enroll in another public school, attend a charter school or private school, or to home school.

The Standings bill also included a provision to ensure Iowa’s elections remain safe and secure by banning “Zucker Bucks.” Millions of dollars were sent by Facebook CEO and coastal liberal elitist Mark Zuckerberg to election officials ahead of the 2020 election, so Iowa is prohibiting private entities from donating money to election offices.

In Other Action
A Senate amended version of HF 2130 was passed by the House to create a single statewide rule for ATV/UTV operation on public roads. ATV/UTVs will be allowed to operate on unpaved secondary roads; paved, undivided secondary roads, with some limitations; paved, undivided secondary roads authorized by the county board of supervisors; authorized city streets; and on the most direct route between allowed roads on primary roads. Cities will be allowed to regulate operation of ATV/UTVs within the city limits. The statewide rule allows for local county designations of operation based on road use and safety conditions.

Because Iowa ranks #1 in egg production and May is National Egg Month, I was happy to be a sponsor of HR 116. This resolution urges the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to better inform consumers about the proliferation of imitation eggs and egg products that are being mislabeled as eggs or egg products. “Real” eggs have so many benefits. They contain no sugar, no carbs and are naturally gluten free. Eggs also are a low-cost source of high-quality protein. Did you know that a protein-packed breakfast containing eggs helps sustain mental and physical energy throughout the day?

During the final week of the 2022 legislative session, I co-sponsored a resolution to improve the labeling of imitation eggs.
Redistricting | Primary Election
Thank you for all your support during the past two years! It has been my highest honor to represent my hometown of Greene and other communities in North Butler County, as well as all of Franklin County and a portion of Cerro Gordo County including Clear Lake. I have enjoyed meeting new people and making new friends while serving as representative for Iowa House District 54.

With the redistricting, I am running for re-election to Iowa House District 55. It will encompass both Franklin and Hamilton Counties, southeast Wright County, as well as north Story County including Roland and Story City. My good friend and mentor Rep. Jane Bloomingdale is running for re-election in Iowa House District 60, which will include Clear Lake. Butler County native Speaker Pat Grassley’s new House District 57 will include Greene, Clarksville and Allison. Here’s a link to the new district maps. 

I encourage you to vote in the primary election on June 7. Here’s a link to the Secretary of State, so you can find polling locations. 

During the final week of the 2022 legislative session, Rep. Chad Ingels and I reunited with our clerk. Abbey Ross did a great job clerking for both of us this session. We know she will do a great job, working this summer for Iowa Secretary of Ag Mike Naig.