Education, mental health bills worked on last week

Last week we continued to run at a busy pace. While most of the week was consumed by subcommittee and committee work, a good portion of time was also spent meeting constituents and organizational representatives from our area.

On Monday, representatives from our Rural Water Associations made their way to the Capitol for the Iowa Rural Water Day. It was informational to visit with them on how they are helping rural individuals and small Iowa cities solve the challenges they face dealing with water quality and waste water issues. Monday was also the day I held a subcommittee on SSB 1029. This bill allows schools and their students extra time to prepare for the implementation of the financial literacy requirement for high school students to graduate. The bill proposes the requirement will start with the 2023 graduating class and allows students more time to have the course requirement worked into their four-year plan. The bill also passed the Education Committee the same day.

On Tuesday, members of the United Way from across the state visited the Capitol. They discussed different policy proposals to support Iowans through education and health care, and how to assist Iowans in their pursuit of new career opportunities. We also had Easter Seals visit at the Capitol to discuss ways the Legislature can support those with disabilities. A subcommittee was held on a bill I sponsored for many Iowa constituents. SF 88 has three main points. SF 88 will provide uniformity for Iowa window tinting laws with the majority of our border states at 35 percent VLT (Visible Light Transmission). SF 88 also commissions a new license plate style for Iowans to purchase. The plate is named the “blackout” plate. It would have a black background with all white lettering. The third and final aspect of the bill would call for the specialty plate purchase fee to go back to the county’s mental health and disabilities fund for mental health services.

On Wednesday, Habitat for Humanity had their day at the Capitol. This year, Rep. Dean Fisher and I will be sponsoring companion bills for low income housing ownership tax credits for their organization. In the wake of Marshalltown’s tornado in July, as well as our districts need for affordable housing, this bill, if passed, would provide individuals and businesses in our communities another tool to assist in the recovery and also help in employee recruitment. We also had visitors from the Iowa Motorcycle Coalition and Decoding Dyslexia Iowa on Wednesday.

Thursday was “Firefighter Day on the Hill.” We met with local professional and volunteer firefighters to discuss their legislative priorities for this session. They capped off their visit with a firefighter chili cook off during the noon hour. We couldn’t have had a more fitting meal on a sub-zero Iowa day.

I would like to thank the hard working Iowans for their extra efforts last week. The windy, snowy and severe cold weather was at times unbearable, yet Iowans pressed on. Your dedication to serve and provide for others is just another reason why Iowa is the number one state in the nation to live.

It is an honor and a pleasure to serve you in Senate District 36.

Please feel free to contact me with any concerns.


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