Minute with Mike, Week Three

By: 
Mike Sexton
State Representative, 10th District

From My Desk

Because our committee assignments are for two years I am once again serving as the Vice Chair of the Justice Systems Appropriation Sub Committee. This committee oversees the funding of the Iowa court system, the department of corrections including all state institutions and the Attorney General Office.

Twice a week, two or three members of the departments we oversee come before us to answer the sub committee's questions and present their case for the appropriations their department will need for the coming fiscal year. 

This week, House Republicans announced a K-12 funding package for the 2020-2021 school year that will provide schools with additional resources on which they can depend. Additionally, it considers many of the challenges that school boards and administrators have brought to lawmakers and targets additional dollars to address these problems.

 

Education Funding

The plan offered by House Republicans will provide schools with an additional $108 million next school year, bringing total state investment in Iowa's K-12 system to nearly $3.4 billion per year.

The details of the plan include $94.7 million for Supplemental State Aid (SSA), building upon House Republican's strong commitment to K-12 schools over the last decade, $7.25 million to reduce transportation costs for rural schools and ensure no school spends more than the statewide average.

This will ensure that more dollars make their way into the classroom rather than being spent to bus students to and from school.

Also included will be $5.8 million in equity funding to further reduce the cost per pupil gap by $10 per student. This continues to reduce a long-time inequity that has existed in the school funding formula since the 1970s.

The House plan provides the same amount of SSA as Governor Reynolds while providing additional dollars for rural school transportation costs and per pupil equity.

The K-12 proposal from House Republicans fits within the state budget and provides schools with a reasonable increase on which they can depend. House Republicans have made it a priority to follow through on the commitments that have been made to schools and will continue to do so this year. Schools have never been cut under Republican leadership.

House Republicans are well on track to setting school funding within 30 days so that school boards have time to plan their budgets for the upcoming school year. 

Key figures:

$108 million - New dollars dedicated to K-12 for the 2020-21 school year

$3.4 billion - Total investment in K-12 per year

2.3% - Midwest Consumer Price Index (inflation) over the last year

Please get back to me on your feelings about educational spending. As a side note, the Senate Republican's spending numbers are much less. 

 

Daylight Savings Time Bill

Quick update on my Daylight-Savings Bill.  The bill struggled a little bit in sub Committee this week but is now back on track. So, it is now headed to the State Government Committee; I expect we will run it in committee next week. Seven states - Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Nevada, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington - have approved legislation to make daylight savings time permanent.

These States still need the "OK" from the federal government to enact the change. Congress has a bill, H.R. 1601-Daylight Act, which allows states to observe daylight savings time year-round. (States may already choose to observe standard time year-round.)

However, in order for my bill to succeed, I may have to add an amendment to it that states Iowa will not implement the bill until Minnesota and Missouri enact the same legislation. 

The major goal of this letter 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.

While we are in session, please remember that I will be on the Devine Intervention Radio Show with Mike Devine on KVFD 1400 every other Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. This is a call-in show so use this opportunity to talk to both of us and let us know your feelings on the current issues facing Iowa citizens.

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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