Legislators Comment On School Supplemental Aid Bill
(Le Mars) — Governor Kim Reynolds’ first legislation signed into law this year was the school supplemental aid bill which will allocate to Iowa’s schools a 2.5 percent increase for school spending. The plan gives schools an estimated 159 million dollars in new money. Republican State Representative Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars tells of what is and was is not included in the bill.
State Senator Jeff Taylor of Sioux Center says Democrats were wanting a larger percentage devoted to school funding, but he says Republicans wanted to be certain they could pay for the increase, and be sustainable.
Other action taken by the state House of Representatives was the passing of the proposed “flat tax” bill.
Jeneary calls the passed legislation as being “historic”.
State Representative Jeneary will hold another round of town hall meetings today at Kingsley and Pierson. He will be at the Kingsley Community Center at 10:00 a.m. and at the Pierson Community Hall at 12:00 noon. The town hall meetings are open to the public.
Le Mars Board of Education To Hold Special Meeting
(Le Mars) — Le Mars Community Board of Education will hold a special meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 22nd at 5:00 p.m. at the Education Service Center. The school board will present their initial bargaining position proposal to the Le Mars Education Association. Earlier this week, the teachers, through their chief negotiator, Tracey Wingert, submitted a proposal calling for a 4.04 percent increase, or an increase of $1600 in the base salary pay. If approved, the base salary would be at $41,215. The Le Mars Education Association is also seeking at least 200 minutes each week for preparation time.
Legion To Hold Steak Fry And Eagles To Hold Buffet And Auction
(Le Mars) — If you are looking to go out this evening, you have a few choices. You may want to visit the American Legion Hall as the Wasmer Post #241 will have their monthly steak fry. For $20 you can get a rib-eye steak with baked potato, corn, Texas Toast, salad, and ice cream. The legionnaires will serve their steak fry between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Another choice is at the Eagles Club. The Le Mars Eagles Club will hold its Eagles Charity Night beginning with a broasted chicken and broasted pork chop buffet starting at 5:00 p.m. Tom Schroeder serves as the coordinator of the local Eagles Charity Auction. He shares with us the evening’s activities.
Schroeder tells of some of the items that will be placed on tonight’s auction.
The Fraternal Order of Eagles member says tonight’s event is open to the public, as you don’t need to be a member of the Eagles to participate. He says much of the money to be raised from this evening’s event will remain for local projects. However, the Eagles have designated a children’s cancer center to receive some of the funds.
Schroeder says the local Eagles club hopes to raise around 8,000 to 10,000 dollars through tonight’s event.
Following the auction will be Kenny’s Karaoke. Schroeder says there will be a full evening of fun at the Eagles Club. He says doors will open at 4:00 p.m. with the buffet to start at 5:00 p.m.
Regional Swine Meeting Scheduled For Monday At Orange City
(Le Mars) — Pork producers will want to attend a Regional Swine Seminar that is scheduled for Monday, February 21st to be held at the Sioux County Extension and Outreach offices at Orange City. Swine specialist Dave Stender says the program will feature three speakers talking about timely topics. Stender says he will teach the Pork Quality Assurance program during the morning hours for those pork producers that need to be re-certified. Then the regional meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. with Dr. Chris Radamacher, the state’s swine veterinarian, talking about several swine diseases.
Following Dr. Radamacher will be Joe Kerns from Partners for Production Agriculture, and he will be discussing the many opportunities available to farmers, and what the markets are showing.
Lee Schultz, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach livestock marketing specialist will conclude the program with an outlook on hog and pork prices, as well as other factor influencing the livestock industry.
The regional swine meeting is being co-sponsored by the Iowa Pork Producers Association, along with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Four Rescued From Grain Bin Rupture
(Mount Vernon, IA) — Four people were rescued after a grain bin ruptured, burying them in corn on Friday morning. K-C-R-G T-V reports the Linn County Sheriff’s Office was called around 9:30 a-m just north of Mount Vernon. Investigators said two people were setting up the grain bin to unload corn, but when they tried to open the outer door, corn rushed out, covering them. Two other people, who saw it happen, rushed to help and also became trapped. One person was taken to the hospital for what are described as non life-threatening injuries — and the others were treated at the scene.
Governor Concerned About Statewide Sales Tax Proposal
(Des Moines, IA) — Governor Kim Reynolds says she has concerns about the Senate G-O-P’s idea to convert more than 800 local option sales taxes into one statewide tax to help fill the empty Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Fund. Reynolds says the move imposes a one percent sales tax in three counties and four dozen cities that aren’t collecting it today. She says the state has to be careful about raising taxes right now with inflation at a 40-year high. Reynolds says fellow Republicans in the House and Senate are about two-thirds of the way toward reaching a final agreement on a tax plan.
State Approves Tax Incentives For Multiple Businesses
(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board today approved awards for four Iowa companies. Cargill received state tax benefits to modernize its Fort Dodge facility equipment where it makes food ingredients from corn. Cold-Link Logistics of Miami, Florida was given state incentives for a multi-phased cold storage facility planned in Sioux City that would create 60 new jobs. Hydrite Chemical was awarded tax benefits to help expand its Waterloo facility which manufacturers and distributes chemical products in the U-S. They also plan to expand the transportation fleet and warehouse space and create 20 jobs. Buena Vista County Platinum Crush was awarded tax benefits to develop a soybean crushing facility near Alta in Buena Vista County. The company predicts the facility will crush 38 million bushels of soybeans annually when fully operational in 2024. The project is expected to create 51 jobs.
Supreme Court Declines To Hear COVID Bar Lawsuit
(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Supreme Court has declined to take up a lawsuit filed by bar and tavern owners who were forced to close by a COVID public health disaster proclamation in August of 2020. The governor’s proclamation required bars in six counties to close due to rising cases of COVID — and six establishments in Polk and Dallas County sued. The governor later rescinded her order and the district court dismissed the lawsuit. The bar owners asked the Supreme Court to still rule on the case. The Court declined — saying the issues are important — but many of the conditions during late summer of 2020 are unlikely to be replicated — and a decision would not prevent future clashes over different pandemic-related orders made under changed conditions.
Governor Reynolds Appoints District Court Judge
DES MOINES– Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced her appointment of David Cox as a district court judge in Judicial District 6.
Cox, of North Liberty, Iowa, currently serves as a magistrate in Johnson County and practices law with Bray & Klockau, P.L.C. in Iowa City. Cox received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.
Cox fills the vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Mary Chicchelly to the Iowa Court of Appeals. Judicial District 6 includes Benton, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Tama counties.
Greetings from the Statehouse,
History was made this week. On Wednesday, members of the House of Representatives passed for the first time in Iowa history a bill that would institute a flat tax so that all Iowans will be taxed at the same low rate. As I had mentioned earlier in the session, we had the intention to pass legislation to return money collected from income taxes back to hard working Iowans. This week we accomplished that goal.
This tax cut is going to put more money in your pocket and will create opportunities for all Iowans. Thanks to the Governor’s leadership, and Republican fiscal responsibility, Iowa’s economy remains strong. The state’s Taxpayer Relief Fund has soared to over $1 Billion. This position of economic strength has given us the ability to deliver this historic tax relief while continuing to fund Iowa’s top priorities.
There is even more history that will be on the horizon. Coming out of the Education Committee this week, was a bill that will protect the integrity of women’s sports. This bill ensures that those who are involved in interscholastic competition be biologically female to be able to compete in women’s sports. This preserves the sanctity of competition and will ensure the best woman wins.
The Iowa House is also taking on welfare reform. This bill ensures that those who are receiving welfare benefits are those who qualify. Through this legislation, healthy behaviors will be encouraged among applicants for Iowa Health and Wellness Plan members. The bill also requires those who are applying for Iowa Health and Wellness benefits to complete all prior repayments before being eligible to reapply.
Iowa has a rich history of success in the sport of wrestling. Dan Gable came to the Capitol and we were able to share stories on his incredible success in the sport. The sport of wrestling is in great shape and it is continuing to grow. The state championships are currently on going here in Des Moines. Good luck to all competitors!
I had a great time last week in Correctionville and Moville connecting with constituents. Thank you to all who attended. This weekend on February 19, I will be visiting Kingsley and Pierson. On Saturday, February 19 at 10:00 am, I will be at the Community Center in Kingsley located at 207 E 1st. Then later in the day at 12:00 pm, I will be the Pierson Community Building located at 514 2nd St. I hope to see you there!
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at my email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Taylor Times by Senator Jeff Taylor 2-18-22
Week Six concludes with the first legislative deadline of the session. It is one of the busiest weeks of the year. Policy bills need to be out of committees in order to be considered during the rest of the session. Senate bills need to be out of committees in order for them to be debated by the full Senate and considered by the House of Representatives, with the exception of bills in the Appropriations, Ways & Means, and Government Oversight committees. This self-imposed deadline narrows the focus to the most viable and important legislation of the year.
This week thousands of Iowans from across the state traveled to Des Moines for the high school boys state wrestling tournament. High school wrestling is a time-honored tradition in Iowa and it is an honor to have the best of the best face off every year in Des Moines.
Another topic covered this week addresses athletic eligibility in school sports. Senate Study Bill 3146 is a bill about fairness in school sports. It specifies that only female students, based on their sex, may participate in any team sport or athletic event designated as being for girls or women. This bill does not criticize anyone for their identity or self-perception. It simply recognizes the biological differences between males and females, and ensures that all athletes have an equal opportunity to accomplish their athletic goals. I voted for the bill in Education Committee on Thursday.
A lot of topics are covered during the session as we work to move bills along. If you have questions or concerns about a piece of legislation, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Property Rights of Iowa Farmers
My SF 2160 bill, which would have removed from the Iowa Utilities Board the power to use eminent domain for private companies, had a public hearing Tuesday at the Capitol. We had 30+ attendees in person and about 100 more who joined us via Zoom. Many were farmers.
I was able to make opening comments on the bill. Every person who spoke supported the bill with the exception of three lobbyists who represented the carbon capture hazardous liquid pipeline companies. The three subcommittee senators voted to move the bill forward, with expectation of amendment.
On Wednesday, SF 2160 was pulled from the Commerce Committee agenda because it did not have the support it needed from other committee members to move forward. This means the bill is dead, which is a disappointment to me. More importantly, it’s a defeat for landowner protection and constitutional rights.
In the Kelo v. City of New London U.S. Supreme Court case on eminent domain in 2005, it was the four conservative justices who correctly disagreed with the erroneous ruling. In their dissent, they warned, “The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more.” Unfortunately, the controversial pipelines in Iowa are an example of this.
Sustainable, Responsible Budgeting for Education
One of the first things the Iowa Senate does each session is decide on the amount of additional funds for K-12 education in Iowa. We do this early on in the session so schools can set their budgets for the next year. What is also important is ensuring that we designate a sustainable, responsible amount we know we can deliver. The dollars allocated in the bill (House File 2316) are additions to the billions already planned for K-12 education spending every year. Total education funding in Iowa amounts to over half of the state budget. HF 2316 dedicates nearly $160 million in additional spending for K-12 schools for the next fiscal year.
This bill also provides additional funds to continue our goal of leveling the playing field for students across the state. School districts in Iowa spend varying amounts on each student in Iowa depending on the district and transportation costs. The additional funds designated in this bill continue addressing these costs to make sure the money we allocate for K-12 funding can be spent in the classroom.
Since Republicans have been in control, K-12 schools in Iowa have received an additional $400 million. With the passage of this legislation, Iowa will be spending $7,413 per student, not even including the local and federal dollars that are also allocated to elementary and secondary education. Senate Republicans have a long record of responsible budgeting and delivering on the promises we have made. This bill continues that promise.
I serve as the vice chair of the Education Committee, and also serve on the Judiciary, Labor and Business Relations, Natural Resources and Environment, and Ways and Means committees. Additionally, I serve on the Justice System Appropriations Subcommittee.