Week of Feb. 11 – 15, 2019 This Week at the Capitol Senator RaAndy Feenstra

Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:30 pm

Once again the winter weather is creating issues in Des Moines and around the state. Many groups who were planning to join me in the Capitol have cancelled, and I’m hoping they will be able to reschedule their visits.

This week I ran a subcommittee on repealing the inheritance tax, SF 1. I believe estate and inheritance taxes discourage business investments and it creates a burden on family members. Often it is family-owned farms that bear the brunt of this tax which threatens future generations of farmers.

We are debating in the Senate. This week we passed SF 172, the bill for K-12 funding so schools can finalize their budgets. The legislation increases funding to public schools by nearly $90 million and that includes $19 million for the transportation funding. When you look at all the taxpayer money that goes into K-12 education, the annual investment is $7.1 billion or $14,600 per student. This is a strong investment into the education of students all across the state.

Reforming Welfare and Building the Workforce

A number of policies this session are focused on improving and expanding the workforce. After the success of policies implemented in the last two years to bring Iowa’s unemployment rate to the lowest in the country, nearly every sector of the economy is looking for workers. A number of bills have begun to work through the legislative process to move people from welfare programs to the workforce, crack down on fraud, and ensure those individuals most in need of assistance are receiving it.

As Ronald Reagan said, “I think the best social program is a job.” No state program can replace the dignity and purpose of work.

Bills in the Senate:

SF 139 – Require a financial class for high school educational standards. This bill helps make sure our students are prepared when they graduate.

SF 167 – A health care loan repayment program that would help the private sector to repay qualified student loans of registered nurses, advanced registered nurse practitioners, mental health professionals, physician assistants and nurse educators who practice full-time in a service commitment area.

SF 220 – A bill increasing allowable deductions by corporations, financial institutions, and partnerships including effective date and retroactive provisions.

From the Governor’s Office

The governor’s proposed budget recommends additional funding for mental health services. This includes additional budget for the University of Iowa for doctors who will practice in rural communities and to train nurse practitioners and physicians assistants in mental health.

My scheduled forums are listed below:

Friday, February 22 – Rock Valley, Noon – Cedar Rock Grill

Friday, March 1 – Sheldon Noon – Pizza Ranch

Friday, March 15 – Hawarden Noon – Pizza Ranch

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Bla