From Rep. Sharon Steckman –
Great news this week for the state budget! Growth in revenues of 9.1% continues to exceed estimates as of the end of February, 2013. For more information about these figures, please follow the link at the bottom of this page.
We have reached the end of funnel week and we still have a tremendous amount of work to do.
All bills that have no budget impact had to be voted out of their committees by this first deadline, so many bills are now considered dead. It has been a busy time for committees as the chairpersons scramble to vote out the bills that they consider to be most important.
Bills that were debated and passed in the Education committee this week included:
- HSB 196 that provides increased ability for school personnel to deal with harassment and bullying issues related to social media such as Twitter and Facebook.
- HF 140 which allows for expanded sharing of operational functions between school districts including superintendents, school therapists and counselors, business, human resources and transportation managers.
- HF 401 which will qualify peace officers, both active and retired, to serve as driver’s education instructors.
There has not been much action in the Environmental Protection committee this year. Most of our presentations and discussions have concerned water quality, but very little new legislation has been produced.
The State Government committee’s work has generally been non-controversial and most controversial bills are dead for this session.
However, many of us are still working on some measures that will affect middle-class and lower-income families positively by:
- Improving Iowa schools by boosting teacher quality, increasing student achievement and supporting innovation.
- Investing in skilled worker training.
- Expanding affordable health care
- Growing Iowa’s economy.
- Cutting taxes for working families and for small and Main Street businesses.
This week, I was appointed to the Council of State Governments Education Committee. Their annual meeting will be held in St. Paul, MN, in July.
Saturday, March 16
Mason City Public Library
As always, I welcome your input. Please contact me by email, attendance at local forums, or a visit to the Statehouse.
To read the rest of the Statehouse News go to: http://iowahouse.org/