By Dean Fisher, Iowa House of Representatives, District 72

The Legislature has now passed the 110 day milestone; our clerks are all released and our per diem has ended. However, the work continues as we work on the budget. My clerk for this session, Collin Brecher of La Porte City, did an excellent job and I miss him as we continue the session. I relied on Collin heavily for research activities along with the other more clerical tasks that go with the job. Collin is a Political Science major at UNI so his work here was beneficial to his studies. Collin will now be going back to his full time studies at UNI.
I have nearly completed the round of donations from my unused legislative expenses to the fire departments in the district for the 2014 session; I have one department left to visit to complete the year. For 2014 I will have donated $13,000 for the year, $26,500 total since I made this commitment beginning with the 2013 session. I have also begun the donations for the 2015 session with a simultaneous contribution for 2014 and 2015 to the Clemons Fire Department.
The budget bills have been moved off the House floor and have been sent to Conference Committee where the Senate and House versions will be negotiated.
The Appropriations bills that started in the House consist of the following:
House File 637 – Deals with the Department of Transportation infrastructure, maintenance programs, planning and other needs before the rest of the Road Use Tax Fund is distributed to the state, counties and cities. This bill does not use General Fund Revenue; it distributes only money from the Road Use Tax Fund which is supplied by fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees.
House File 650 – Is the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund bill that distributes the Casino money that the state receives for infrastructure projects such as buildings at our Regents schools, water quality and nutrient reduction initiatives, etc.
House File 659 – Is the Administration and Regulation Appropriations which funds our governor’s office, other executive functions and the state regulatory agencies.
House File 658 – Is the Education Appropriations which funds our community colleges, Regents universities, grants for students at private colleges, and many other education related agencies (but not K-12 funding, that is in a different bill).
As always, feel free to contact me at dean.fisher@legis.iowa.gov with your thoughts and concerns about our state government.