Minute with Mike, Week Five

By: 
Mike Sexton
State Representative, 10th District

From My Desk

It’s hard to believe we are wrapping up week five already. Last year at this time I was writing that we had had our first-floor debate this week. This year we started floor debate on week one and we have not taken our foot off the gas pedal since.

We are working at a pace that I have never seen down here—I like it! I believe there is a consensus that we need to get our work done and get out of town. We have members, in both parties, that are heath compromised and for their own safety need to be home.

The first funnel date is quickly approaching which means there is a time crunch in order for bills to pass out of the standing committee. Bills must pass out of the standing committees by the funnel date in order for them to stay alive and be eligible for debate on the House floor.

 

Daylight Savings Time

A couple weeks ago, I wrote that because of our accelerated pace and everything that is going on down here, I was not going to file my Daylight-Savings Time Bill.

I know many of you are disappointed. Well, guess what?! There is a bill over in the Senate that is just like my Daylight Savings bill.

If it makes it off the Senate floor and over to the House, there still may be a chance we can get something done on this issue.

 

Child Care

As I have talked about in previous newsletters, the number one issue that you have talked to me about during the interim was the lack of available child-care in House District 10. We have heard you and have attempted to improve that issue. Several bills regarding this were passed off the House floor on Feb. 10.

Here is a list of bills regarding Child Care and what they propose:

· HF 230 – Increases the income threshold for a Child Care Tax Credit from $45,000 to $90,000.

· HF 370 – Creates an incentive for employers to provide child-care for their employees by providing a tax credit up to $150,000.

· HF 260 – Allows individuals providing child-care in their homes to take care of 6 or fewer children, an increase from 5 or fewer.

· HF 292 – Raises Iowa’s child-care rates to the 50th percentile according to the Market Rate Survey.

· HF 302– Creates an “off-ramp” from Child Care Assistance program so parents can continue to grow in their career without losing their child-care assistance entirely, all at once.

· HF 301 – Creates a fund to provide child-care workforce grants on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis for communities. These programs will help move child-care providers up the pay scale and the education pathway.

 

Agriculture

The House Agriculture Committee passed House Study Bill 167 which proposes adjustments to the Beginning Farmer Ag Asset Transfer Tax Credit Program. This bill comes from the Governor’s office. This program (HSB167) is very important in helping young farmers, with limited amounts of capital, get into farming and renting farm ground from retiring farmers.

The notable and significant changes to this program proposed by HSB 167 are as follows:

· Lifts the cap on the number of times an agreement to transfer agricultural assets can be renewed from once to unlimited; and lifts the cumulative lengths of agreements may be from no more than 10 years to no more than 15-years.

· Removes the cap on the number of years an eligible taxpayer can participate in the program which is currently10-years and limits the number of tax credit certificates for the program to ten. This would allow a taxpayer to receive tax credit certificate for up to 15-years and with multiple agreements with different parties.

· Removes the annual $50,000 cumulative cap of tax credit payment any one participating eligible taxpayer can receive and instead limits any one agreement to not to exceed $50,000 in any year.

· Removes language that appeared to require, as part of an ag asset transfer agreement, that the lease of agricultural land be included and replaces it with language that an ‘agricultural improvement’ means any--…if located on any size parcel of agricultural land.’

 

Just a reminder...

The major goal of this weekly newsletter is to give you a quick update that can be read in a few minutes.

If you need more in-depth information on a specific subject or a bill, please just email my clerk, Andrea, at mike.sexton@legis.iowa.gov and she can find the information you are looking for and get it back to you.

 

Pass It On

If you have family, friends, or co-works that you think would also enjoy MWM, please forward this to them so they can read it and deicide to be on our mailing list. If you are reading this and would like to subscribe to our newsletter, “Minute with Mike,” please send us an email letting us know.

We have created a Facebook page that I will be using to add comments about what is going on in the Capitol and the House floor. This page will also be used to make comments as bills are being debated on the floor.

Please go to https://www.facebook.com/citizensforsexton or search for State Representative Mike Sexton on Facebook and like it so you can stay informed about legislation we are working on.

Please let me know what you are thinking! Feel free to contact me at my legislative email at mike.sexton@legis.iowa.gov.

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