Hello District 75 from the State Capitol!
The Iowa Legislature has been keeping very busy passing bills, with the Iowa House passing dozens of bills and most of them either unanimous or close to it.
HF 2127 and HF 2198 are intended to help with child-care, HF 2127 allows parents to pay the difference between Child Care Assistance rates and the rates charged to families that do not receive CCA. HF 2198 allows 16 and 17-year-olds to provide child-care to school-aged children in a child-care center without supervision. As so many of you know, there are many competent 16 and 17-year-olds that are very responsible and will be able to do this important job just fine. Obviously, this is not a requirement for child-care facilities but just another option to potentially help with the child-care worker shortage.
Another bill passed out of the Iowa House, HF 2298, prevents licensed child-care centers, elementary, secondary, or postsecondary schools from requiring the COVID-19 shot for enrollment. Iowa parents who know their children best are the ones who should be making that decision.
Last week, Governor Reynolds signed into law both the flat tax bill and Protect Girls Sports bill. For the Flat Tax bill, everyone paying income taxes will pay less! The tax credits or deductions that everyone had are still there and not touched. The Girls Sports bill continues to allow girls as determined at birth to compete against each other. This bill does not prevent anyone from competing in sports, it just requires them to participate according to their gender at birth.
Last year, Ainsley Erzen from Carlisle, Iowa, ran in an 800-meter dash and broke the NATIONAL record! Congratulations Ainsley!! She did a comparison of race times of high school boys who ran the same race and discovered there were 85 boys who would have beaten her national record. Sports organizations and school districts have been asking for guidance on this issue. Girls deserve a fair playing field, and this ensures it.
I’d like to point out that prospective college students can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is for financial aid of which there are several scholarships and grant programs. The sooner you apply, the more opportunities students can be awarded.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship (IDALS) is taking applications now till June 1st for 2022 Century and Heritage farms, with Century Farms being owned by families for 100 years and Heritage farms owned for 150 years. Applications can be downloaded at https://iowaagriculture.gov/century-and-heritage-farm-program or obtained by calling 515-281-3645, or by U.S. Mail from: Century or Heritage Farm Program, Iowa Dept. of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Wallace State Office Building, 502 E. Ninth St, Des Moines, Iowa 50319.
I hope it’s going good with you and please be safe and healthy out there!