From Rep. Sharon Steckman –
During this first week after funnel week, committees have seldom met and most of the action has taken place in floor debate. Many of the bills brought to the floor and passed have been non-controversial tweaks to Iowa Code.
We have begun intensive work on the Education Appropriations bill after spending several weeks listening to organizations and groups within the Education community present their budget proposals.
The Senate has come up with its own version of the Governor’s Education Reform proposal. Much work will be involved in reconciling the House and Senate versions; providing budget support for the programs involved and making sure that we are not just “re-arranging the deck chairs”.
Among the other important issues that we must take into consideration yet this year are:
The grave concerns regarding the Governor’s continuing refusal to accept the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and refusal to fund schools until the Reform bill is passed.
The possible loss of federal revenues for various programs due to the on-going budget and sequester battles on the Federal level.
Meanwhile, the job forecast in Iowa is one of the brightest in the nation and renewable energy continues to boost Iowa’s economy. We learned that nearly one-quarter of Iowa businesses plan to hire new employees in the near future. Please read more about this latest survey information by following the link at the bottom of this page.
Also, I am gratified that new research released this week continues to show the great importance of early childhood education not only for the child, but also for the community and the state. An important bill focused on improving pre-school attendance passed the House this week. More information is available on the link.