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HF2612 – AEA/Special Education Outcomes

The House has come to a resolution on moving forward with changes to the AEA’s. I have always only supported the creation of a task force to study what needs to be done. That said after 8 weeks of extensive work and discussion with all the stake holders, AEA’s, Superintendents, teachers, legislators, DOE, Governors office, parents, and others. With amendment H-8107 by Rep. Wheeler we have incorporated changes to the original fiasco of a bill, that has moved the position of our AEA’s to a neutral position which changes me to a yes vote on this legislation. I still have some heartburn on parts of this amended version but am comfortable that the task force can alleviate those concerns.

HF2612 does the following:

  • Creates a legislative task force
  • Schools may use media services from AEAs in 25/26 and beyond but the money stops at the school. Schools may use educational services from AEAs in 26/27 and beyond but the money stops at the school. Schools must use special education services from AEAs in all years but the money stops with the schools.
  • DOE in charge of professional development in collaboration with the AEA’s.
  • DOE has oversight over AEA budgets and accreditations.
  • Restructures AEA chief salaries and the boards makeup.
  • Incorporates the Special Education task force with over 35 separate recommendations.

This bill DOES NOT:

  • Disrupt special education services.
  • Terminate any employees of the AEA’s.
  • Prohibit the AEAs ability to perform any of the services they do now.

School Safety

HF2586 establishes grants to help schools fund School Resource Officers. It also creates a special professional permit for people employed by schools. The special permit provides individuals and the district with qualified immunity if training is kept up to date. It does not mandate but gives school districts the options they may want and hopefully clears up insurance issues that have stopped them in the past.

Many things need to be done to secure more adequately the safety of our students HF2586 is one tool that is proving to be one of those things. 33 states allow teachers to be armed including Iowa. There are qualifications in many of those states but it still is allowed.  Do you know how many shootings have occurred as a result of teachers being armed? Zero! Do you realize the average response time for law enforcement is 12.5 minutes? Do you realize the average active shooter incident only lasts 5 minutes?  The harsh reality is that in the first minute of an active shooter incident a new victim can be shot every three to five seconds. In the second minute a new victim can be shot every six to eight seconds. In the third minute of an active shooters rampage a new victim can be shot every 10 – 12 seconds and the rate will decline unless the attacker finds a new group of victims to shoot.

The active shooter at Lakewood Church was taken down within 30 sec. because of armed security. A school in Iowa which has trained/armed teachers had a response time of less than 30 seconds to what was an accidental alarm for an active shooter. That school had an SRO who was in the parking lot at the time and he took almost 5 minutes to respond.

Nothing in this bill is mandated but it gives schools an option. I will wholeheartedly support this legislation as the lives of our kids are at stake and this is a major tool schools can utilize.

Bills I Ran

On Monday I ran HF2585, the Nursing Facility Regulation bill, that requires DIAL to hold trainings with inspectors and nursing facilities twice a year, updates when an on-site inspection is needed of a nursing home, and requires a process for citations that involves feedback from the nursing home.

I also ran SF2160, the Ambulatory Surgical Center Cleanup bill. It amends language from SF75 from last session which licensed ambulatory surgical centers in Iowa. It clarifies that cosmetic procedures that do not require general anesthesia are not required to receive a certificate of need, adds additional accrediting bodies as an alternative to state licensure, and allows for surveys from the accrediting entity.

This is the first Health and Human Services Committee bill to go to the Governor!

Bills I’ve Highlighted

HF2165 raises the penalty for a false report to public safety officials in some instances. This is to address swatting is a cyber harassment technique that sends an armed emergency response team to a victim’s location. It ties up law enforcement and puts extreme duress and pressure on individuals affected.

HF2579 would allow volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel to get a personalized number on their specialty license plates.

HF2594 creates the crime of organized retail theft.

HF2465 allows agriculture instruction to be counted for science requirement and certain CTE courses to count for math.

HF2558 is the Higher Education Reform Act of 2024. It creates a Work+ Program for community colleges and Regent institutions, codifies the DEI directives from the Board of Regents, updates the Presidential search process for the Regent universities, says that tuition cannot be raised by more than 3%, and provides a plan for the closure of a private college

HF2453 prohibits a court from deferring a judgment or sentence of a defendant who was found guilty of stealing public funds while they were a public employee or elected official.

HF2454 prohibits state, county, or city action from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion unless there is a compelling governmental interest. It provides a balancing act for courts. This is a 1993 Federal Law passed unanimous through Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton. But the courts said this needed to become a State issue and since then 25 other states, blue and red, have passed this legislation. This does not create an opportunity for discrimination it simply creates a balance for the court to decide whether a persons religious liberty (Constitutional) or civil liberties preside over an issue.

HF2581 makes the following changes to the 811-One Call system: revises the 48-hour notice period, requires two members of the One Call board to be excavators, requires IUB to receive records upon request when they are involved in a case with the AGs office and allows the IUB to investigate complaints against locators, allows the IUB to issue civil penalties against the locator if a complaint is filed with IUB and allows for a warning letter from the AGs office instead of the civil penalty, requires locators to accurately complete locates and to notify One Call when a locate cannot be completed.

HF2569 directs the Iowa Transportation Commission to prioritize US Highway 30 as part of the 5 year plan and to make the road a four-lane highway all across Iowa.

My “No” Votes

HF2553 is the “Nonpublic Extracurricular Activities” bill. Nonpublic and public schools can agree to waive the 90 school day eligibility requirement if a student transfers to the nonpublic or public school. The nonpublic school may participate in public school athletics if the nonpublic doesn’t have it, and the nonpublic school may charge an athletic fee. I was a NO vote on this legislation because we have two athletic unions to regulate and manage our high school sports and this is not the job of the legislature.

HF2278 is the “Open Enrollment Bus Routes” bill. It was amended to say that a receiving district with a total enrollment of less than 2000 students may send vehicles no more than 2 miles into the district of residence. A receiving district with a total enrollment of greater than 2000 students may send a bus 2 miles or more into the district if all of the following apply: district of residence is less than 2000 students, pupil’s resident district is contiguous, and the pupil’s district of residence has sent schools into the receiving district pursuant to above. This bill has been around for a couple years and I have always been opposed. I believe with open enrollment this will allow school districts to cherry pick students from other districts with detrimental effects on our local rural schools.

HF2617, often called the “Baby Olivia bill” or Fetal Development Instruction bill, prescribes specific instruction on pregnancy and fetal development in human growth & development for grades 7-12. This was another mandate on our schools and I believe in local control for most cases.

HF2544 prescribes specific social studies standards by grade level with specific people, events, documents, etc. It changes the civics requirement to one unit and requires a civics literacy test in higher education, if a student doesn’t pass, they must take a remedial civics course. Being a social studies teacher for 33 years I saw many problems with this legislation and although changes in SSS needs to occur this was not the way to go about it by mandate once again.

45 Other Bills Passed Through the House


  • HF2540, Repeal Gender Balance Requirements
  • HF2483, Foreign Land Ownership
  • HF2513, Wool Assessment Suspension
  • HF2257, Custom Poultry Slaughter at State Inspected Meat Processing Operations
  • HF2239, Obscene Material – Penalty
  • HF2366, Charitable Organizations – Probate


  • HF2304, Law Enforcement Quotas
  • HF2315, Criminal History and Identification
  • HF2308, Disaster Emergency
  • HF2375, Dietician Licensure Compact
  • HF2391, Temp Nursing Services Cap
  • HF2318, Bestiality
  • HF2398, Bonds and Insurance Policies for Public Officers
  • HF2403, Guardian ad Litem and Indigent Defense Payment
  • HF2426, DIAL Inspections of Asbestos Projects and Hotels
  • HF2250, Jury Tampering
  • HF2552, Buyer’s Representation Agreements
  • HF2554, Electric Advance Ratemaking Updates
  • HF2013, Nursing Home Administrator Provisional Licenses
  • HF2166, Controlled Substances
  • HF2448, Employee Alcohol Compliance Training
  • HF2191, Mandatory Minimum Sentence Enforced
  • HF2210, Mental Health Questions for Clinical Privileges
  • HF2299, Public Records Requests
  • HF2538, DOM Strategic Planning Bill
  • HF2302, Assault DOC Staff


  • HF2150, Transitional Coaching License
  • HF2393, Dental Screenings in Schools
  • HF2615, Community College/Private College Information and College and Career Transition Counselor
  • HF2545, School Standards Review


  • HF2573, Cannabidiol Card – Telemedicine Regulations
  • HF2488, Prior Authorizations in Health Care
  • HF2462, Substantive and Non-Substantive Code Editor
  • SF295, Guardian and Conservatorship 2.0
  • HF2556, Damages – Illegal Firearms Regulations
  • HF2466, Technical Election
  • HF2482, Expanding Cancer Coverage for Fire Fighters and First Responders
  • HF2484, Deer Depredation Licenses
  • HF2015, Special Landowner Deer Hunting Licenses
  • HF2536, Iowa Finance Authority
  • HF2600, Location of Prosecution
  • HF2486, Continuing Education Credit Carryover
  • HF2592, Brady Giglio Fix
  • HF2603, Previous Law Enforcement Certification
  • HF2593, Officer Involved Shooting
  • HF2568, Cyclists Right of Way in Crosswalks (I was a NO vote)

Ongoing Bill Vote

Unanimous: 75

Bipartisan: 30

Party Line: 13

(Each week is added after the completion of Debate)

Weekly Bill Tally

Unanimous: 38

Bipartisan: 13

Party Line: 10

Author: Tom Moore


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