Capitol Update Week 5

News From District 96

Floor Debate
The House held its first floor debate of the session this week, passing three critical pieces of legislation to support Iowa’s K-12 schools and victims of significant flooding across the state.

Last spring, much of the state was devastated by significant flooding, particularly in southwest Iowa and eastern Iowa around the Quad Cities. The Legislature acted quickly last session, providing $25 million in flood recovery aid: $15 million for immediate flood relief and $10 million in housing tax credits to rebuild homes.

Since the Legislature adjourned last year, it has become clear that additional support is needed to help these communities recover.

This week, the House passed a supplemental appropriation bill that will provide impacted communities with an additional $21 million for flood recovery. Legislators worked closely with the Flood Mitigation Board to identify critical projects that need investment before more flooding occurs this spring.

License Exemption for Farm Special Registration Vehicles
Also, this week the Iowa House Agriculture Committee passed House Study bill 530 by a by-partisan 17-aye to 6-nay vote.   The bill amends the definition of ‘chauffer’ in the Code to exclude a farmer or his hired help who operate a farmer owned truck tractor and are hauling the farmer’s own product or property to a destination no more than 100-miles from farmland owned or operated by the farmer.  Under these conditions, the individual no longer needs a chauffeur license.

The measure was amended in committee to further stipulate that this exception only applies when the farmer or his hired help is driving the farmers’ trucks that are licensed plated as farm trucks/Special Farm Registrations to transport the farmer’s own products or property to a destination no more than 100-miles from his farmland.

Keeping Health Care Professionals in Iowa
On Tuesday, the House Human Resources Committee passed House File 2115 to require the University of Iowa medical and dental schools to have 75% of their admitted students be from the state of Iowa. This work builds on legislation passed last year to require state-funded medical residencies to prioritize Iowans in the application process by looking closer at those that are originally from Iowa, went to undergrad in Iowa, or graduated medical school in Iowa.

Supporting Emergency Medical Service
Last week the House Ways and Means Committee passed House File 2280 by a vote of 24-1. The bill increases the Volunteer Fire Fighter and Volunteer Emergency Medical Services Personnel Member Credit and the Reserve Peace Officer Credit from $100 to $200. The bill makes the increase in the tax credit available this tax year.

House File 2280 is currently on the House Ways and Means Calendar and is eligible for consideration by the full chamber. House File 2280 is just one of several initiatives we are putting forth this session to support our volunteer EMS workers. These volunteers make Iowa a safer place to work and live and deserve this honor.

This week I had the privilege of welcoming students from  JCSHYC (Jones County Safe and Healthy Youth Coalition), Maquoketa Valley, and West Delaware the to the Iowa House of Representatives.  The groups were visiting the Capitol to bring awareness to the dangers of smoking, vaping and underage drinking.


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