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Rep. Sharon Steckman explains her “no” vote on water quality bill

This news story was published on January 28, 2018.
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The following is a legislative update from Rep. Sharon Steckman of Mason City –

This week, the House voted on SF 512 which dealt with water quality. I wanted to let you know why I voted against it. Last year, I voted in favor of HF 612 which also dealt with water quality – but in a much better way.

Neither of those bills passed in the opposite chamber, so both were carried over to this year. On Monday afternoon, the minority party was informed that the Senate bill was going to be debated on Tuesday. After I looked at the bill closely and discussed it with experts in the field, I realized that:

• SF 512 was rushed through before we even began to attempt to figure out how we were going to balance the current budget.

• The bill would do little to clean up our waterways

• The bill was crafted behind closed doors with no minority members included, but with much input from lobbyists.

• There is little accountability and it does not use a watershed approach that gives local stakeholders a role.

• Takeaways are used for the funding. Dollars from SAVE (schools), RIIF (infrastructure) and the water excise tax are used…in other words, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul

• The water excise tax is paid by consumers who get their water from local utilities and is not paid by people in rural areas who have their own wells.

The Education Committee met late into the evening Wednesday on the “Omnibus” bill to which a many-paged amendment had been added on Tuesday. I had served on the subcommittee that advanced the bill and I had no prior knowledge that the amendment would be added before we debated the bill in committee. However, the main objection that I had to the bill was that it opened up the state to even more for-profit online schools (other than the two that are already operating within Iowa) and it removed the cap on how many students can participate in online learning with very little oversight. Last year, over $6 million was diverted from public schools to online for-profit schools. Among other problems, there is no way to reclaim that money when students drop out and that rate has been shown to be approximately 50%.

We must turn around the ever-escalating trend to deprive our public schools of the funds necessary to produce well-educated citizens and a skilled workforce.

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12 Responses to Rep. Sharon Steckman explains her “no” vote on water quality bill

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 30, 2018 at 8:24 am

    The commercial tax reform in Iowa is a thorn in Iowa’s public servant party of greed. They believe that small business owners who pay their wages do not deserve an honest break when it comes to property values. Their nothing but selfish fat cats and will always be the spoiled brats because they control the politicians who want their votes – such as illegal demorat votes. — Their just puke and smell the part.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 30, 2018 at 10:07 am

      Why, in your eyes, are small business owners ‘special’? Why should they get a tax break while others continue to pay out the nose in taxes? In my opinion, no one is deserving of special tax treatment.

      It’s pathetic that despite a red hot national economy, Iowa cannot balance its budget because Branstad thought giving the Targets and Walmart’s of the world a property tax break would somehow create jobs.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2018 at 9:01 am

    I wonder if those 100 bills have the smell of pig poop ?

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Iowa – A China owned and controlled pig sty. – 750 polluted waterways – by the way she also criticised the property tax relief bill for small business owners in Iowa – if it does not benifit public servants she will vote against it. She must tale after that pelosi bitch from that scum state of California.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 29, 2018 at 12:03 pm

      The commercial property tax reforms have been a utter disaster for this state. More politicians should have voiced opposition to it.

      You don’t find it peculiar that despite a very strong national economy, Iowa cannot balance its budget?!?!

      And the promises that implementing this commercial property tax reform would somehow create jobs?!?! How is that working out? Iowa is nearly dead last in the country for job creation.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2018 at 7:38 am

    She is all about the teachers union and knows nothing else.

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 29, 2018 at 6:17 am

    Sharon is such a hypocrite. She said two years ago she was going to increase laws to help with water quality. To point she has done nothing. Sharon is nothing more than a puppet to the union lobbyists that fund her campaigns. She is clueless without any ideas.

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 28, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    It’s always the schools with her. She knows and cares about nothing else.

    • Fraud Squad Reply Report comment

      January 30, 2018 at 4:09 am

      You say that as if it’s a bad thing? Educating the idiot children born from idiot parentsis the only pathway out of hell. Her mission is noble. Ignorance is comfortable and easy and while for you Bubbas there is no hope…but for god sakes dont condemn your children to the same fate. Get them out and away to college as soon as possibke. Institutions are better than life on the couch in front of Fox News

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 30, 2018 at 7:57 am

        She sure has you conned. Easy to do with a weak Democrat mind.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 30, 2018 at 4:12 pm

        And the sure way to educate the children is to pay the Superintendent of Schools over a quarter of a million dollars to leave.
        And Steckie will never utter a word against the behavior. She’ll just complain that the education folks don’t have enough money.

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 28, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Please tell us who the referenced lobbyists are.