The second week of session was a short one due to Marin Luther King Jr. Day, but that did not keep us from making tremendous progress on our agenda. As we move forward, I am committed to continuing our record of growth and achievement in Iowa.
In the past week I have chaired five subcommittees, taking a deep dive into developing legislation that will help Iowa reach her full potential. Below are two of the seven bills I helped push through subcommittee this week:
Senate File 586 will establish a steeper penalty for violent repeat offenders. The bill will be keep Iowans safe and reduce the risk of repeat offenses.
Currently, only a select number of professions are allowed to obtain a permit to carry weapons. Senate File 587 will add county attorneys and assistant county attorneys to the list of professionals allowed to be armed while on the job. The bill was inspired by Bret Lucas, an assistant Polk County attorney, who said it would allow him to better defend himself.
Governor Reynolds announced a plan this week to create a School Safety Bureau to identify and respond to threats. The bureau will operate under the Iowa Department of Public Safety and work to create an anonymous reporting system while providing dedicated special agents with cyber expertise. Reynolds proposed $2 million for the creation and estimated it would cost $1.5 million per year to operate.
Discussions also continue on education funding and ensuring a bill is passed in a timely manner to give school boards and school administrators the time they need to plan their budgets for the next school year. We will work hard to ensure funding to address behavior prevention training and support for teachers in the classroom.
We are dedicated to passing reliable and sustainable school funding for schools and directing more of that funding for use in the classroom. Investing in our children’s future is always a priority, and one that I work hard on each year. Since 2017, I have helped secure our state’s promise of $263.75 million in new investment for Iowa schools.
As always, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as your State Senator. Keep in touch as we continue to advance Community First legislation in 2020.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance. ([email protected]).