Iowa House: Thomas Gerhold

Hello District 84 from the State Capitol!

Week four in the Iowa House finished with several bills being passed on the house floor with the overwhelming majority of them receiving a unanimous vote. One of the bills is House Joint Resolution 3, which will amend the Iowa Constitution and clarify for the gubernatorial line of succession in case any governor or governor-elect is unable. It should come before the voters in the general election in November of 2024.

On January 31st, I chaired a subcommittee on HSB 85, which relates to wrecked or salvage vehicles with cosmetic damage such as hail damage at more than 70% value of the vehicle. The bill states the vehicle needs not be repaired in order to be issued a regular certificate of title if the vehicle is in safe and legal working condition.

The House Education and Appropriations Committees passed House File 171, which increases the Supplemental State Aid (SSA) funding by 3% over last year, which amounts to $106.8 million more than Fiscal Year 2023 directed to the local school districts. This will increase the amount spent per pupil to $7635, an increase of $222/student over the previous year. The last time education funding was actually cut was in 2010 when Democrats had the trifecta. The legislature is required by law to pass SSA within the first 30 days of the session.

Also on Jan. 31st, the Capitol was pleasantly invaded by a sea of blue jackets – dozens of high school chapters of the Future Farmers of America (FFA). Our new Senator Charlie McClintock and I were able to sit down and have a Q & A session with the Benton Community and Belle Plaine chapters. It was so refreshing to see and talk with all these polite students, and I’m so proud to represent them! Even though FFA was made up of mostly (90% or more) guys and lived on a farm when I was in FFA, it looks like half or more of today’s FFA members are young women and now far more members live in towns. What hasn’t changed is the good character of the today’s members!

I hope this finds you healthy, warm, and please be careful out there! Have a great week!


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