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Rep. Todd Prichard explains his non-support of one education bill, support of another

This news story was published on February 20, 2019.
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Representative Todd Prichard with the Luft family (Lenny, Wendy, Landon and Lilly).

The following is a legislative update from Rep. Todd Prichard of Charles City:

It was an interesting week in the Iowa Legislature. One, the weather continues to wreak havoc on the State. While we have not cancelled any legislative days due to weather, it is obvious that the weather has slowed the committee process down a bit as the Capitol. It seems that the session is moving slower than usual.

Last week the General Assembly passed two Education bills. One determined the state aid to local schools for the year in terms of dollar support to local districts and we passed a transportation equity bill.

The first bill for state aid did not earn my vote. Our public schools have been on a starvation diet for the past eight year in regards to funding. While the 2.06% increase was more than the previous years, it is not enough to make up for years of underfunding by the Legislature. I supported a 3% increase. It is a percent increase the state could afford all while keeping the state balanced. At 3% many more schools could deal with class size problems and ease local property tax burdens for many school districts. Given the importance of public education to Iowa, my wish would be to put students at the front of the line and appropriate the funding we need to make Iowa a world leader in education again. The recent budgets for our local schools have not done that.

The second education bill, Transportation Equity, bill enjoyed broad bi-partisan support. This bill will increase the state aid rural districts receive for busing expenses. The legislation will go a long way to help rural districts spend money on academic programs as opposed to busing costs. Chalk this vote up as a big win for rural Iowa.

Finally, again this week I lucky enough to have the Luft family (Lenny, Wendy, Landon and Lilly) as special guests. They were here to watch as Logan’s Law, their bill to promote organ donation, passed thru committee in the Senate. The bill continues to make progress and I look forward to getting it over to the House.

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