By Dean Fisher
We are now finishing up our second week in session. Bills are being filed and committee work is underway. Here is a brief look at some of the bills beginning to work their way through the legislative process:
House Joint Resolution – Right To Hunt, Fish, and Trap: This bill seeks to amend the Iowa Constitution to not only guarantee our right to engage in these sports, but also to use traditional methods into the future. As the population continues to shift to urban areas the necessity for this amendment increases. The amendment language is similar to what has passed recently in several other Midwestern states.
House File 29 – Shared Operational Functions: This bill was suggested by school superintendents in my district. It deals with continuing a program of financial incentives to smaller school districts to share personnel in several functions such as school counselor, curriculum director, superintendent, business management, etc.. For example, two school districts might share a school counselor to save on salary expense, this program provides additional funds to both districts for that sharing. This bill adds principal to the list of shared functions, and it removes the 2019 sunset provision so that our smaller school districts can continue to benefit from this program.
House File 16 – Supervision of Apprentice Electricians: This is a bill requested by electrical contractors in my district. An apprentice must work for four years before they can become a Journeyman Electrician. Current law requires that apprentice to have a supervising electrician at the job site 100% of the time. This requirement places an undue burden on our rural and small town electricians. For example, the supervisor, typically the business owner, can’t legally leave the job site to answer a furnace repair call and let the apprentice continue performing routine tasks while the supervisor is away. This bill reduces the requirement from 100% to 25% of the day, giving the contractors flexibility and, ultimately, reducing cost to the customers.
House File 1 – Five Year Program Review and Repeal: This bill, sponsored by the House leadership, requires that all current and future programs implemented by the legislature be subject to automatic repeal over a period of five years, based on a staggered schedule. All future programs, whether new or reauthorized, would also be subject to the five year review and repeal. This is to ensure that each program created by the legislature continues to remain effective and efficient. The schedule of review will be set by legislation from the State Government Committee.
House File 28 – High School Financial Literacy: This bill requires high schools to teach financial literacy courses that promote important skills and concepts for adult life like money management, college planning, savings and investments, credit and debt, and insurance coverage. One example of the benefits of teaching financial literacy can be found at the University of Northern Iowa, where such a course has been credited with lowering the student debt levels.
House Joint Resolution 1 – Electronic Communications Protection: This bill seeks to amend the Iowa Constitution so that the privacy of Iowans electronic communications is protected from search and seizure unless a search warrant is issued.
As always, please feel free to contact me by calling 641-750-3594, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.