Hite Capitol Update

by Dustin Hite

This week was the second funnel, which means a bill must make it through committee in the other chamber in order for it to be alive for the session. It also means that it is the last week of committee meetings, with the exception of Ways and Means and Appropriations. These two committees are “funnel proof” and bills in these committees are not subject to the deadline.

This week in the Education committee, we considered six bills that the Senate sent over. These bills dealt with topics from drivers’ education for home schooled students, to Medicaid reimbursement for schools, to recognition for licensed behavior analysts. I would like to highlight two bills that we passed. Senate File 265 allows the parents of a student to hold their child back a grade for this year. We have heard quite a bit about the learning loss of students, and this bill gives parents the final say in whether or not their child is ready for the next grade.

Senate File 517 came from a Senate page from Oskaloosa, Holly Boeke. This bill gives our pages the equivalent of one semester of social studies credit towards their high school diploma and waives the physical education requirement for the semester that they are working in the capitol. Our pages have a front seat to how laws are made in Iowa, and they gain invaluable experience. Many go on to work in government or become elected officials. There are currently several former pages who are elected representatives in the House. I also served on the subcommittee for this bill, and it was great to see the pages come and testify in support of this bill.

After an absence last year due to COVID, the Pella Tulip Time Queen and her court came to the statehouse this year. Queen Alyssa Geetings, and court members Hannah Tschetter, Ashley Hardman, Olivia DeHaan-Burch, and Tessa Brouwer sang Tiptoe Through the Tulips for the House. After being introduced in the Senate, these young ladies, their parents, and I made the climb to the top of the dome, 275 feet above the ground. I was the odd man out for this trip as I had forgotten my wooden shoes at home. Congratulations to these young ladies and their families on this great accomplishment. I look forward to seeing you all at Tulip Time this year, which is May 6, 7 and 8.

Next week with both funnels behind us, we will start to concentrate on passing bills off the House floor and direct our attention to the budget and taxes. I would like to remind everyone that I always enjoy visitors at the capitol, and this year is no different. While there are fewer people in the capitol this year, it is still open to the public. You can also contact me at dustin.hite@legis.iowa.gov with any concerns or questions.

Posted by on Apr 3 2021. Filed under Local News, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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