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Rep. Sharon Steckman happy that AEA bill in Iowa Legislature has stalled – for now

The following is a legislative update from Democratic Rep. Sharon Steckman, representing District 59 – the eastern half of Cerro Gordo county – in the Iowa Legislature:

The following is a legislative update from Democratic Rep. Sharon Steckman, representing District 59 – the eastern half of Cerro Gordo county – in the Iowa Legislature:

Steckman

We have just experienced the largest outpouring of sentiment against a proposed bill (HF 542) that I have seen in my sixteen years of serving as your representative in the Iowa House! Members have received thousands of emails from across the state. I asked the Chief Clerk’s office for printed copies of messages they received just before the subcommittee meeting on the study bill; I received a binder containing over 500 pages of messages ranging in length from one sentence to several paragraphs. The stories about much-appreciated services provided to children across the state by AEA were touching and eye-opening. And not one single message was for the bill!

As a member of the three-person subcommittee, I am pleased to report that the bill was tabled; a vote was not called. The Senate version (SSB3033) has advanced out of their subcommittee so please keep a watchful eye on that as continued resistance may be needed.

Meanwhile, House Democrats have studied some issues that would affect Iowans more positively and are proposing legislation that would provide some relief: raising the minimum wage; expanding Iowa’s tax-free holiday; clearing the waiting lists for Iowans with disabilities; and providing affordable childcare for childcare workers. For more details, see the story below. This is the kind of legislation we should be spending our time on.

However, I am serving as the lone minority party member on HSB 649 which proposes among other things that people should be identified as trans on their driver’s licenses and other forms of IDs. We should NOT be spending our time on legislation such as this.

We are now six working days away from the first funnel which means that, in order to stay viable, bills must be passed out of their relevant committees by the end of next week. (Bills that affect the budget are not included in the deadline.) Today, I received five newly proposed education bills on my desk, most of which provide micro-managing of our educational system. Important work remains to be done…but not this!

FORUM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17
10:00 – 11:30
MASON CITY LIBRARY

Steckman: “Rev Stephen Benitz from St. John’s Episcopal Church comes to the Statehouse during session to offer support for the work that I and others are doing. I greatly appreciated his thoughtful visit.”
Jackie Armstrong represented Watershed Management Authority during Water Day at the Capitol and we had a chance to visit about water issues.
Steckman: “Jennifer Lantz, Foster Grandparent Program Director, stopped by to share information about the Americorps efforts to offer senior citizens the opportunity to serve as mentors, tutors and care givers for a variety of children with special needs.”
Steckman: “I loved meeting with FFA members, Jack and Lauren Englin. I taught their Mom during my first year teaching 2nd grade!”

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