The Rozenboom Report – February 9, 2018

by Ken Rozenboom

It is an honor to serve you at the Iowa Capitol and I enjoy discussions with constituents on the issues we are dealing with here at the statehouse. Please contact me if you have questions on the legislation as is goes through subcommittee and committee process.

The Senate’s first floor vote this legislative session was to provide Iowa public schools with nearly $46 million in new money for the 2019 fiscal year. Included in the bill is a $32 million increase in supplemental state aid (SSA), and $14 million to address the transportation and district cost per pupil inequities that exist within our funding formula. This bill brings the allocation of state general fund dollars for K-12 education to more than $3.21 billion, which is nearly 44 percent of the state budget. The House continues their work on school funding as well, and I believe we will come to a final agreement very soon.

This is a responsible and sustainable commitment school officials can depend upon as they begin working through their budgeting process. Many times in the past, legislators have over-promised funding to schools only to under-deliver in the long run, wreaking havoc on the budgets of our Iowa school districts.

Senate Study Bill 3018 updates current law on scanning devices, like skimmers, due to the increase in information theft. The bill updates the language to include the tools criminals are using to steal information, like skimmers, wireless devices, RFID, and near-field communications. This bill is an important update to our current law as we work to protect Iowans from theft and fraud.

Improving career opportunities has been the primary goal for Senate Republicans during the two years of the 87th General Assembly. This week we started moving pro-growth energy policy through the legislative process. Senate Study Bill 3093 eliminates a backdoor rate increase on Iowa users of natural gas and electricity. For years, many Iowans have been paying up to 10 percent more on their utility bills to fund energy efficiency projects for others. These fees are added, but current state law prohibits power companies from being transparent about the actual cost of these fees to customers of rate-regulated utilities. This bill eliminates the requirement of those entities to apply those fees to their users. It will lower energy costs for Iowans, job creators, public entities, and any customer of a rate-regulated utility in Iowa.

With strong growth in the American economy, job creators large and small are announcing substantial investments in the economy. Iowa is poised for growth and opportunities for growth exist for many industries in many areas of the state. An important aspect of attracting investment is the availability of reliable and affordable electricity. Making Iowa competitive for investment is crucial for career opportunities all across our state. SSB 3093 is one more piece of legislation to encourage growth, attract investment and create an environment for better career opportunities for all Iowans.

Please consider joining me at one of our upcoming legislative forums. We will be at Eggs and Issues at Smokey Row in Oskaloosa tomorrow morning, February 10, from 8:30 to 9:30. Also, on February 17, Rep. Larry Sheets and I will be in Albia at the First Iowa State Bank Heritage Hall from 8:30 to 9:30, and in Centerville from 10:00 to 11:00 at the Chariton Valley Planning office on the west side of the square.

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Posted by on Feb 10 2018. 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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