IOWA HOUSE: Thomas Gerhold, April 19, 2021

Thomas Gerhold

Good Evening Folks,

We are about two weeks away from gavelling out for the last time. We have moved a lot of positive legislation forward this year, so I would like to take a moment and share some of it.

The Iowa House passed House File 857 this week with unanimous support. The bill creates the Butchery Innovation and Revitalization Fund and Program to be administered by IEDA in consultation with IDALS. The fund consists of any amounts of money appropriated to the fund by the general assembly and any other amounts of money available to IEDA for placement in the fund. The fund must be used to provide financial assistance as provided under the program. “Assistance” is defined to include assistance in the form of grants, low-interest loans, and forgivable loans. Currently, the House Economic Development Budget includes an appropriation of $750,000 to the fund.

House File 857 will now be sent to the Iowa Senate.

House File 302 establishes a state-funded off-ramp program from Child Care Assistance (CCA) that will gradually increase cost-sharing from families as they increase their income. This bill removes the ceiling on Iowan’s ability to be successful. You often hear about the cliff effect in government programs – where individuals are stuck in welfare dependency and the program is limiting their ability to take a raise or promotion. This bill addresses the cliff effect in Child Care Assistance.

House File 301 establishes a public/private partnership to expand the child care workforce in the state. This bill will help recruit and retain childcare providers in Iowa by providing matching funds to communities that match the state funds.

Both House File 301 and 302 have been signed by the Governor.

Iowans are fortunate to live in one of the safest states in the nation. A big part of that is due to our peace officers who work night and day to protect citizens and ensure criminals are stopped. This past year has pushed our officers to their limits. Riots, assaults, looting, and destruction of public and private property have made an already difficult job nearly impossible. House Republicans have always supported law enforcement, and Iowans echoed that support by rejecting Democrats’ calls to defund the police in the November election. Listening to the concerns and needs of everyday Iowans and law enforcement led to the creation of SF 342. This bill, as amended by the House, addresses problems faced by both peace officers, business owners, and the public. The bill increases penalties for a variety of crimes provides better administrative protection for law enforcement and ensures laws are enforced across the state.

Senate File 342 will be sent to the Governor’s desk for signature.

We have two weeks left, and we are spending the last two weeks finalizing budgets.

Have a good week!

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