We took our first vote of the 2022 Legislative Session this week in the Iowa House. It was a vote I was very proud to cast because it’ll help support our renewable fuels industry here in Iowa.
Good for Farmers. Good for Consumers. Good for Biofuels.
Governor Reynolds has been working with Iowa Legislators for over a year on a plan to increase access to higher-ethanol blends at the pump. It’s been a long process and a lot of hard work from our Ways and Means Chairman Representative Lee Hein has gone into the bill to address the concerns fuel retailers had last session.
The bill increases Iowans’ access to E-15 by ensuring all gas stations that are compatible, offer E-15 as an option to consumers. If a station’s equipment is not compatible, and upgrading their infrastructure would come at a great cost to the business, they can apply for a waiver from this requirement. This is the biggest change that was made from last year’s bill to ensure it does not put small fuel retailers out of business. This bill also increases and expands the timeline of fuel retailer tax credits that offer higher-ethanol blends.
E-15 fuel is cheaper, cleaner, and made right here in Iowa. This bill is a win for Iowa agriculture and a win for Iowa consumers and I was glad to see it pass the Iowa House with strong bipartisan support.
Addressing the Workforce Shortage – Starting with Schools
We are facing a workforce shortage in our state and nowhere is that truer than in our schools. Our caucus continues to hear from school districts on the struggles they’re facing when it comes to staffing teachers, substitutes, and support staff.
There’s no one solution to this issue. We need to tackle it from multiple angles and Iowa House Republicans have a few ideas. In addition to increasing funding for our public schools by increasing the State Supplemental Aid – which will likely be a big topic in the Legislature next week – House Republicans have introduced legislation to…
- Create new, alternative licensures for teachers, making it easier for Iowans who have spent some time working in another field to become teachers – HSB 632 and HF 2085
- Eliminate exams teachers have to take between graduation and certification – HF 2081
- Expand the Iowa Scholar Program to expand eligibility for teachers who apply for the grants – HF 2083
- Allow student teachers to also serve as substitute teachers HF 2158
These bills will make it easier for Iowans to become teachers and substitute teachers while maintaining the level of quality that Iowa students deserve.