Sheets Snapshot – February 22, 2018

Rep. Larry Sheets (R) (photo by Don Hubbard)

by Larry Sheets

Dear friends in House District 80,

The House passed an amended version of Senate File 455 this week to provide rural school districts with additional funding to address unequal transportation costs. Some districts spend as little as $100 per student while others spend almost $1,000 on transportation costs. We aim for equal funding for Iowa classrooms to improve student’s educational experience. Our plan provides $11.2 million in funding to bring the maximum transportation cost for districts down to $432 per student. It also commits $2.9 million to work towards the per pupil equity issue that some schools in the state face.

As millions of Americans move away from buying goods and services with cash, criminals are finding more and more innovative ways to steal people’s money. A common tactic is through card skimmers that are installed on gas pumps, ATMs, and credit card readers, which are used to steal money from hard-working Iowans. House File 2199 will protect Iowans from these types of 21st crimes by penalizing criminals who use skimming devices to steal Iowans’ credit card and financial information. House File 2199 was approved 97-0 to this end

The Iowa House Tuesday voted 94-3 to require the contract to develop standardized tests for K-12 students go to the University of Iowa testing services. After the Legislature sent out requests for proposals last year, the Iowa Department of Education awarded the contract to Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes of Research, even though it costs more and is not an Iowa product. The UI testing services did not submit a proposal, but Pearson represented an Iowa testing service. Pearson challenged the selection process. Under House File 2235, the Legislature would ignore the state selection process and allow schools the freedom to use the much less expensive Iowa testing services if they chose.
The Iowa testing services product will be ready by Spring 2019 and will be aligned to the Iowa Core. It will cost local schools, which pay for the testing, $11 million less than the AIR proposal. This is $7 per test instead of $15. Iowa assessments have served our state very well. Also, it has a science test, which AIR does not. “Test for test, this is a much better quality product.” legislator Mascher (D) said.

The House voted 98-0 on House File 2285 to direct the Department of Human Services to apply for a waiver that would allow both private and public emergency medical services agencies to receive higher reimbursement for transporting Medicaid recipients. Local EMS agencies now eat the cost of those transports because of the low reimbursement rate. The waiver could increase reimbursement for Iowa EMS Medicaid transports by as much as $35 million a year. An average transport, including equipment, personnel and supplies, may cost $800. The reimbursement may be only $150 under Iowa’s current Medicaid plan.

Senate committee passed the Heartbeat Bill SSB3143 which the House has not yet taken up. I’ll write more on that later.

Upcoming forums:
* Feb 24 : “Osky Eggs & Issues” @ 8:30am at Smokey Row in Oskaloosa.
* March 3: League of Women Voters @9:30am at Bridge View in Ottumwa
* Mar 17: “Legislative Coffee” @ 10am in Centerville at the office of Chariton Planning and Development; 308 North 12th Street.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns at or 641-895-6153.



Posted by on Feb 23 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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