Hite Capitol Update – February 8, 2019

Rep. Dustin Hite (R-District 79)

Rep. Dustin Hite (R-District 79)

by Dustin Hite

We are just wrapping up week four of session from the Statehouse in Des Moines. This week was similar to the last, with many bills passing through subcommittee and committee.

I had the honor of chairing two subcommittees this week. The first was for House Study Bill 29. This legislation would allow certain OWI offenders to be sentenced as habitual offenders under the law. The bill passed out of subcommittee unanimously, and is on to the full Judiciary Committee for consideration. Thank you to Representatives Kaufmann (R-Cedar) and Olson (D-Polk) for their help on this subcommittee.

I also chaired the subcommittee for HF 171. This proposed legislation would change the way hotels and motels tax individuals who stay for longer periods of time. This is a bill with bipartisan support that passed out of subcommittee unanimously and will be considered by the full Ways and Means committee at a later date. We could not have gotten this passed without the help of Representatives Maxwell (R- Poweshiek) and Wolfe (D-Clinton).

At Eggs and Issues a couple weeks ago, many shared a concern about education funding. That is why I am happy to announce we are building on our past commitment toward education, as this week House and Senate leaders announced an agreement on a K-12 funding package for the 2019-20 school year.
The agreement includes an additional $89.3 million in new funding for Iowa’s K-12 schools.

$7.8 million to reduce transportation costs for rural schools. This will ensure more dollars make their way into the classroom.
$2.9 million to reduce the cost per pupil gap by $5 per student. This continues to reduce a long-time inequity that has existed in the school funding formula since the 1970s.

Once this package is passed, state investment in K-12 education will top $3.3 billion per year. The House is planning to debate this K-12 package on the floor next week, fulfilling our obligation to set school funding within the first 30 days of session. This will provide schools with the certainty and time necessary to set their budgets for the 2019-20 school year.

Finally, I would like to mention some individuals from my district that came up to the Statehouse. I met with representatives from Leighton State Bank and Pella, as well as a young lady from Bussey who shared with me some concerns from beef producers. Please continue to reach out to me if you make a trip to the capitol.

-Dustin

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