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Legislative update from House District 54 Rep. Shannon Latham

This news story was published on March 28, 2021.
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Shannon Latham

The following is a legislative update from Representative Shanon Latham, Iowa House District 54, covering portions of Cerro Gordo, Butler and Franklin counties:

To the People of House District 54:

As I mentioned in this week’s edition of my “Looking Ahead with Latham” video, work is underway on the House budget. Input is gathered from three sources before budgeting begins: Governor’s proposed Fiscal Year 2022 budget, an estimate from the Revenue Estimating Committee (REC), and priorities of the House majority party. The three-person panel serving as the REC last Friday raised its forecast for General Fund revenue in Fiscal Year 2021 to $8.0789 billion, which is a growth rate of 1.9 percent.

Our state’s budget has shown great resilience even in the face of a global pandemic. In fact, Iowa’s budget was ranked as the #1 most prepared to withstand the financial challenges of COVID-10 by the non-partisan Council of State Governments. Thanks in part to a decade of responsible budgeting by Iowa House Republicans, Iowa’s financial position continues to look strong.

Early this week Iowa House Republicans met and discussed our budget priorities. Then later in the week Rep. Gary Moore, who chairs the Appropriations Committee, and I as vice chair of the Appropriations Committee met with all the chairs of the budget subcommittees.

Also this week, which was Week 11 of the 2021 Legislative Session, we spent much time debating bills in the Iowa House. A few of the bills that were messaged to the Iowa Senate for consideration include:

  • House File 586 requires the Iowa Economic Development Authority to establish a broadband forward certification program and a telecommuter forward certification program. The objective of this certification program is to encourage political subdivisions to further develop and promote the availability of telecommuting. I believe this designation can help communities recruit and attract residents.
  • House File 694 modifies participation and lease agreement requirement and tax credit amounts for the beginning farmer tax credit program.
  • House File 798 prohibits the discharge of a firearm from within or on a motor vehicle while in pursuit of game
  • House File 753 allows a person driving 25 mph or more over the speed limit, who kills another, to be charged with a class “C” felony.
  • House File 724 provides that employers offering leave to biological newborn parents also offer the same leave to adoptive parents of children up to six years of age.

Public Charter Schools

Ensuring every student has access to quality education while giving parents more choice in their children’s education has been a top priority. House File 813 makes it easier to establish public charter schools, however, founding members must show community need and community support.

Under this bill, public funds stay with public schools. The federal funds allocated to the public school district will continue to be allocated even after the students leaves the district for the charter school.

This bill also specifies rules and guidelines to ensure charter schools adhere to public school guidelines such as standards of transparency, quality, oversight and admittance that include:

  • Public charter schools must admit all who apply.
  • Public charter schools must provide special education services.
  • Public charter schools must be transparent, by adhering to Chapter 21, which is open meetings law where all board meetings are open to the public.

Nominate Your Neighbors

Gov. Reynolds, Secretary of Ag Mike Naig and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director Kayla Lyon invite Iowans to nominate individuals or families in their communities for the 2021 Farm Environmental Leader Award. Nominations will be accepted until Monday, May 3, to be considered for the 2021 awards ceremony held at the Iowa State Fair. Farmers and landowners who invest in conservation practices, like cover crops or wetlands, and incorporate best management practices into their operations, to improve and protect the state’s natural resources, are eligible for the award. They must also actively serve as leaders in the agriculture community.

National Ag Week, March 21-27

“Food brings everyone to the table” is this year’s theme for National Ag Week. Nowhere and at no time was this phrase more evident than in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This past year reminded everyone what we, in agriculture, already know. Agriculture is essential to our livelihood, our food chain and our state’s economy,” says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig.

During National Ag Week, Sec. Naig recognized the Iowa State University Meats Lab and the Iowa Food Bank Association for their extraordinary efforts to help livestock producers overcome supply chain disruptions while feeding hungry Iowans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both organizations played vital roles in the state’s food security initiatives, including Pass the Pork, Beef Up Iowa, Pack the Pantry and Turkey to Table. These programs were developed by the Governor’s Feeding Iowans Task Force in the spring of 2020. Through these programs, 1.75 million servings of Iowa-raised pork, beef and turkey were delivered to the food bank and food pantry feeding programs.

Iowa ranks #1 in egg, corn and pork production. Depending on the year, we rank first or second in soybean production and fourth in cattle production. Thank you to everyone involved in putting healthy and nutritious foods on our tables!

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10 Responses to Legislative update from House District 54 Rep. Shannon Latham

  1. dikwoodslim Reply Report comment

    April 1, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    The left is tying itself into a pretzel with claims that vaccine passports are ok but voter I.D. is racist.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    Shannon Latham is a very nice person.
    With that said, she is not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 29, 2021 at 6:35 pm

      She’s like a lot of Republicans then

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 30, 2021 at 8:10 am

        Yah the dems are doing great at the border eh?

      • Peas n Taters Reply Report comment

        April 2, 2021 at 12:41 pm

        Jill Biden Deplaned Executive One Wearing Fishnets and Black Booties is disgusting!!!

  3. Ghost Ronald Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2021 at 7:16 am

    Hello and good morning, I am the ghost of former President Ronald Reagan, I have no relation to Mrs. Latham but I am the father of Amanda Ragan. Thank you.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 31, 2021 at 6:03 am

      I get it, you’re Todd Blodgett of Clear Lake Iowa!

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 29, 2021 at 12:59 am

    instead of working on important things they work on this hog s*^%t

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 30, 2021 at 6:50 am

      wa wa sniffle sniffle i want my nippo.