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Statehouse news

Friends,

There are fun activities on Saturday for you to take part in.

February 15th Events

Pancake Breakfast

Pancake breakfast sponsored by Boy Scout Troop 310. Menu: Pancakes, sausage, juice, & coffee with strawberry & blueberry sauce. Tickets $6.00 (Children 5 and under FREE) Hope United Methodist Church: 2203 S. Third Ave.

For the love of Binford Valentine

Dinner

The 4th annual “For the Love of Binford Valentine Dinner” will be held on February 15. Social hour begins at 5:30, and dinner will be served at 6:00. Proceeds from the dinner will help support Binford house, and are $35 per person.  Guests are welcome to BYOW (wine only, please!). Seating is limited, so please call 641-753-5450 or email binfordhouse@gmail.com to RSVP.

NOLA Jazz Band — 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

You know you want to do Mardi Gras the right way … an evening with NOLA Jazz Band is the right way at the IVCCD Orpheum Theater Center 220 East Main St. — Tickets are $12.50.

School funding bill delayed, conflicts with Senate

House and Senate lawmakers have yet to resolve their differences on school funding for the upcoming school year.  During debate on Tuesday, House Democrats offered a plan this week to invest $133 million in public schools next year, but majority party lawmakers want to provide less.

School leaders across the state have said low state funding over the last decade isn’t keeping up with rising costs and hampers their ability to train the next generation of Iowa workers.  The proposals offered by majority party lawmakers does not keep pace with rising costs at schools and will lead to more school closings, higher class sizes, and fewer opportunities for students.  

Iowans have always had great pride in our public schools. However, the state’s new investment in public schools has been the lowest in Iowa history over the last decade leading to the closure of 126 schools in Iowa. The low funding means public schools have been forced to increase class sizes and raise property taxes to make up for the shortfall in state funding.

House majority party lawmakers prefer a 2.5 percent increase in basic funding for schools while Senate majority party lawmakers want just 2.1 percent.  The bill, Senate File 2142, is now back in the Iowa Senate as lawmakers try to resolve their differences.

By state law, the Legislature is required to enact school funding within 30 days to give school districts the time and ability to meet their required schedules for their budget decisions.  The leaders of the current House and Senate will not be able to deliver school funding on-time this year as per the law. 

Iowa National Guard members to be deployed overseas

The Iowa Army National Guard Ironman Battalion will soon be deployed for Operation Spartan Shield, a United States Department of Defense operation in the Middle East. This Operation encompasses 27 countries including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Qatar. Around 550 soldiers from armories in Charles City, Davenport, Dubuque, Iowa City, Iowa Falls, Oelwein, and Waterloo are included in the deployment.  The primary mission for this group will be area security and force protection operations.  

This is just the first wave of deployments, and by this time next year, Major General Corell indicates the Iowa National Guard will have more than 2,000 soldiers, nearly 30 percent of its force structure, deployed overseas serving in such locations as Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This is largest number of Iowa personnel deployed since 2011.  These mobilizations are expected to begin in May, and will be completed by early next year.  

As Major General Corell stated in his Condition of the Guard speech, the Iowa National Guard is strong and ready to rise to any challenge the nation or state faces in the future.