Update From the House for District 80

by Holly Brink

Week 11 Update

Hello Friends,

I am again so honored to be serving you in the legislature. This week contained several long days of debate, including Wednesday’s debate which lasted until past 1 AM Thursday morning. On those days I just remind myself of how important it is to ensure that we are doing the most we can for Iowans. I am fine with debate lasting that long when it is about addressing the real needs of Iowans and Iowa.

And it is so important to move legislation because we are approaching the 2nd legislative funnel. Next week, if legislation from the Senate is not through a House committee it cannot be advanced further this year, and vice versa. So it was extremely important to get vital legislation to the Senate this week so the Senate has the opportunity to consider it yet this year.
Surgical Centers Emergency Procedures – HF 735

On Wednesday the House passed unamimously HF 735, which is the successor bill to my bill I introduced this year to ensure safety in surgical centers. The bill would require ambulatory surgical centers to have emergency procedures in place should a patient require emergency care.

Our community knows too well what can happen at a surgical center. I was honored to introduce this bill in memory of Reuben Van Veldhuizen who passed away after a tragedy at a surgical center. Number 24 will forever be in our hearts.

The bill requires a written plan, on-site trained emergency personal, a standing emergency transportation option, and medical information reporting requirements to assist with care.

It is my firm belief that these are things that ambulatory surgical centers should have been doing already. I thank every member of the House for supporting HF 735 and I hope the Senate decides to pass HF 735 this year.
Education Reform – HF 847

On Thursday I led debate on HF 847 which implemented many changes towards the better for K-12 education. This bill also passed with bipartisan support. HF 847 started as part of the Governor’s Students First Act earlier this year and I want to thank her and the other members of the House Education Committee for their help with amendments and their help with passing this section of that proposal. Some highlights in the bill include:

Innovative waivers to give school districts working creatively the flexibility they need to move education forward in STEM and work-based learning
Doubles the tuition and textbook tax credit and expands the program
Expands deductions for teachers who make work related expenditures
Adds open enrollment options for students who are struggling academically or if their school as a whole struggles academically
Changes the time required for students to sit out of varsity sports from 90 school days to 90 calendar days and allows the requirement to be waived if the sending and receiving schools agree.

Critical Race Theory in Schools

I have been reached out to by several parents from around the State asking how they can know if their schools are teaching similar things to what Ames is, Critical Race Theory (CRT).

CRT is a Marxist ideology that seeks to divide us by our skin color instead of working towards a future where skin color matters less. To help parents know where the lines between education and indoctrination are I have paraphrased some information below from schoolhouserights.org:

CRT often forces students to accept its derogatory labels and assumptions as part of mandatory K-12 curricula.

If you answer “yes” to the questions below your student may be entitled to relief under the First Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Title VI, Title IX:

Viewpoint Discrimination:
• Is the teacher or curriculum failing to present students with opposing points of view?
• Is the teacher or curriculum discouraging students from considering alternative points of view?
• Are students penalized or treated disrespectfully for expressing different points of view?

Thought Reform:
• Are the course and questionable assignments mandatory?
• Are students forced to affirm ideas they disagree with, unlearn beliefs, or abide by an ideology?
• Does the course forbid students from open disagreement or shut down open discussion when a student disagrees?

Labeling:
• Does the teacher label certain races, sexualities, sexual identities, genders or religions as “oppressive, oppressors, privileged, or victims”?
• Are students forced to associate certain races, identities, or religions with oppression or privilege?
• Are the students forced to label or discuss their own race, sexuality, gender or religion as part of a mandatory class or assignment?

Other Concerns:
• Did the district or teacher fail to notify parents of or allow parents access to highly controversial or sensitive material related to sexuality in the curriculum?
• Is the instruction or curriculum age-inappropriate, inflammatory, or disruptive to learning?
• Do the actions of the teacher or administration, or the content of the curriculum, create a hostile environment for the student with respect to race, gender, sexual identity, or religion?

If you think that you could answer yes to any of the questions above, document everything. If you think you need an attorney, please do so. But before assuming the worst it is important to talk with your school board or other school leaders about your concerns first. CRT is increasingly all over the place, so it is possible that educators are using it without fully understanding the context. That is why it is so important to check in with your children and speak up if something does not seem right.

Flat Stanley

Another project I got to work on this week was my daughter’s Flat Stanley class. It was really fun seeing Flat Stanley run all over the Statehouse, everyone was looking for Stanley all week to see where he would show up next. Thanks to everyone who helped!

This past week was a great week from hearing for so many of you on important issues Please keep it up because I enjoy hearing from you! My contact information is below.

Holly Brink
State Representative, Iowa District 80

Posted by on Mar 27 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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