Holly Brink Update From the House for District 80 – April 19, 2019

Holly Brink (District 80) signs her Oath of Office on Monday, January 14, 2019.

Holly Brink (District 80) signs her Oath of Office on Monday, January 14, 2019.

by Rep. Holly Brink
Hello Friends,

Coming off the heels of last week, we have devoted much of this week to agriculture and education. Some of the most important legislation this week introduced several much needed reforms and established the budget to our agriculture and natural resources departments, extension councils, and school district reorganization.

Probably one of the most important legislative decisions needed to be made in the state of Iowa is the Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental Protection budget plan. On Tuesday the 16th, the Iowa House passed and amended Senate File 609. In its current form, the bill will allocated eighteen million dollars to the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship general fund, three million to the Water Quality Initiative general fund, and eleven and a half million to the Department of Natural Resources general fund, just to name a few. Though I have just addressed the general allocation to the departments, SF609 also proposes funds to targeted initiatives and projects around Iowa. Along with funding government programs, SF609 provides several revisions to the Iowa Code regarding environmental and natural resource protections, mostly to resolve any discrepancy or confusion in the law. I believe this is a good bill and the changes proposed by the House makes it even better for the people of Iowa.

Another important bill that we passed, now ready to be signed by Governor Reynolds, is Senate File 170. SF 170 addresses some of the confusion in the code regarding extension council vacancies. In the event that a vacancy would occur in an extension for a extensive period of time, the bill would have the office up for election during the next general election. By clearing up the language, we are polishing the existing protocol and ensuring that vacant seats on a extension council will not unnecessarily be prolonged. By refining the process, we have preserved the efficiency of extension council leadership selection.

Finally, this Thursday the House passed House File 596. HF 596 extends tax incentives to school district who participate in whole grade sharing programs or begin the process of reorganization and dissolution to 2024. Through tax incentive extension, our goal is to provide small rural schools a way to continue providing education your their youth. Many of us in the House understand the many schools are regularly stressed due to financial shortcomings. Because of this, we believe that this tax incentive will incentivize schools to seek solutions so they may continue striving for educational excellence.

For the rest of this session, I will be working with my colleagues in the Appropriations committee to finish up the House’s State budget. Our goal for the budget is making every dollar count, making smart and targeted investments that will make great impacts on Iowa’s future.
As always, I greatly appreciate all of your support over this session. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Holly Brink
State Representative, Iowa District 80
(641)295-7111
Holly.brink@legis.iowa.gov

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