As week four of the 2022 Legislative session came a close, it was noticeable that the pace continued to ramp up. This week we had a number of visitors at the Capitol. A large group of students representing FFA chapters from all across Iowa came to visit with their legislators this week.
I had the honor to spend about 30 minutes talking to a number of students and their advisors from the West Marshall FFA. During our discussion we had a Q&A session. I would ask the students questions about their knowledge of the legislature, as well as, other areas important to them. In return they asked me questions ranging from policy to my daily schedule. It was very inspiring to see such a large group of future leaders interested in the governance of our state.
This week SSB 3084 went through the subcommittee process. SSB 3084 is the governor’s biofuel proposal. Under the bill, all retailers with compatible infrastructure must offer E15 by January 1 of 2026. New fuel retailers that open on or after January 1 of 2023 must offer E15 from 50 percent of their dispensers.
This version of the bill offers waivers from the requirement for certain conditions. The governor can waive the E15 access standard statewide or on a regional basis if there is an E15 supply shortage, if the price of E15 will create a demonstrated economic hardship, or if widespread infrastructure compatibility issues are present. There are two waivers available for individual retailers. One can be due to incompatible infrastructure due to the age of the infrastructure. Retailers can also get a waiver if the overall cost to upgrade the infrastructure exceeds roughly $71,000. Retailers are eligible for 70 percent of costs from the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP), up to $50,000. Tax credits available to retailers will also be extended and created for ethanol and biodiesel blends.
This week we also had a subcommittee on SF 2117 dubbed “the right to treat.” This bill seeks to allow physicians the ability to maintain the right to treat a patient with an FDA approved human treatment for an off-label indication. The aim is to maintain the environment in which a doctor-patient relationship is unencumbered when providing life-saving medical treatment.
Another bill advancing through the process this week in the Senate was the “Parents Bill of Rights” in education. SSB 3079 would provide standards empowering parents to have access to the materials and content their children are being taught and how to address sexually explicit or even pornographic material in their student’s curriculum.
Finally, this week the Senate Education Committee approved funding for the next fiscal year. The amount approved was approximately $150 million new dollars toward K-12 education. Over the last 5 years we have continued to show our commitment to Iowa educators. Every dollar we have promised, we delivered. We understand the need for sustainable and dependable funding to Iowa schools as they prepare students for Iowa’s workforce.