Thoughts from the Hill:
Not a lot has happened at the capitol this past week as far as voting on legislation. A bill goes through a process of an idea becoming a law by first going through the Legislation Service Agency who writes that law in accordance with current law. That draft goes before a committee of around 20 legislators. The chair of that committee will set up a sub-committee of three people, usually two from the majority party and one from the minority party. The committee of three will have a meeting where anyone who wants to testify can do so. If the draft passes through the three person committee it is presented to the whole committee. If it is passed by a majority out of that committee it will be presented to the entire House of Representatives. Many pieces of legislation are non-controversial and not debated for any length of time; others can be debated for hours.
We are currently in the committee process. I believe that the week of February 9th many bills will have passed through the committee process and will be debated on the house floor.
In the committees I am involved with I would expect about 10 education bills and 10 judiciary bills will be ready for debate. Some of the education bills will be allowing anyone over 18 without a coaching endorsement to coach without that endorsement for a year (HSB562). We also passed out of committee HSB556 that relates to reading ability at the 8th grade level. Up to 300 hours will be added annually for a specific group of students through grants. Another education bill that could have an impact on our area is HSB561. That bill is going to deal with buildings that a school system no longer needs. None of our judiciary bills apply to our daily lives at this point.
One other item of interest is a judge ordered that the Iowa Juvenile Home be reopened. Just wondering what the thoughts of the people of the 7th district are on this topic.
See you again next week.