2022 Legislative Session Action Alert #5

2022 Legislative Session Action Alert #5

February 17, 2022

Deadline for Passage of Key Bills Out of Committee is Friday, February 18

EDUCATION BILLS

Senate Study Bill 3080 - AGAINST - Create Vouchers for Private Schools

This has passed the sub-committee. Action: Contact Senate Education Committee, ask to oppose SSB 3080. Taxpayer money should be used for public schools, not for private schools. The Senate Education Committee meets Thursday February 17 at 11 a.m. You can watch and listen to the debate via link under committees click on the bill Agenda for the website.

A former school board member who is now on our Legislative Advocacy team (Cherie Miner) had this comment regarding this move to support vouchers for private schools. “The Republican answer to the system they’ve broken is to fund private education with public tax dollars. Our governor calls this “School Choice.” What kind of choice does that leave families in rural districts? Will online schools or home schooling be our only option? Haven’t we just witnessed all the problems with that during the pandemic?

And what about the economic impact of gutting public schools in rural communities? In many places, schools are the largest employer. What happens when school jobs disappear? How does that help build Iowa’s future?”
 
Historic Church Support for Public Education, Resolution 3165 in Book of Resolutions of the United Methodist Church. 
. . . the church is called to remember, first and foremost, the well-being of all of God’s children.  Education is the right of all children. . . the Social Principles affirm that education “can best be fulfilled through public policies that [ensure] access for all persons to free elementary and secondary education and to post-secondary schools of their choice.”

As a consequence of inequities in our society, we have a moral responsibility to support, strengthen and reform public schools. Our founder, John Wesley, was dedicated to the education of poor and under-privileged children. . . Our heritage should lead us to defend the public schools. . .we do affirm our conviction that public funds should be used for public purposes.

We call upon local churches to support public education  and Advocate at the state and local level for adequate public-school funding and equitable distribution of state fund, and supporting efforts to end unjust disparities between rich and poor communities.  

House File 2316 -  AGAINST - Education House  2.5% increase  

ACTION: This has passed the legislature. Call Governor and ask her to increase aid to schools 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE BILLS

House File: 2191 - Declaration For - New Commutation Process: 

This still needs to be passed by the House Public  Safety Committee. 

ACTION: Contact members of the House Public Safety Committee to urge passage of HF 2191.

House Study Bill 607 - Declaration For - Probation Reform  

ACTION:  Contact members of the House Public Safety Committee to urge passage of HSB607.

SETTING OF TAXES

House Study Bill 62 - Declaration Against  - House Tax Plan  
Senate Study Bill 3074 - AGAINST - Senate Tax Plan          
HSB 551 AND SSB 3044 - AGAINST - Governor’s Tax Plan            

ACTION: These bills are exempt from the funnel. We are declared against because we think government should not reducing the progressive nature of taxes, and not be acting before the last tax changes take full effect and we know the full impact of inflation.  There are still unmet needs such as improving our schools and increasing funding in schools where there is a teacher shortage. 

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE CHANGES 

House File 2279 - Declaration AGAINST - Still in House Sub-committee
Senate File 2275 - Declaration AGAINST - Passed sub-committee and committee

This is through the Funnel—will be open for debate in Senate.  Will need to talk to legislators when it comes up.

GAMBLING BILLS

House Study Bill 604 - AGAINST - Allows online casinos (Gambling)
House Study Bill 578 - AGAINST - Allows cashless wagering (Gambling)          

ACTION:  Ask State Government Committee Members in House to Oppose  HSB604. HSB578 passed the committee and so will go to the House for debate. This makes it easier to gamble.

IMMIGRATION/REFUGEES BILLS

Senate File 2068 - FOR - Amends English Only Law (Immigrants)   
House File 2192 - FOR - Amends English Only Law (Immigrants/Refugees)    

These bills SF2068 & HF2192) are dead for this year.

GUN SAFETY BILL

Senate File 2002 - AGAINST - Prohibits enforcement of federal gun safety 

This bill is not advancing in Senate.  We do not want this to move through the funnel.

MENTAL HEALTH BILLS

House Study Bill 531 - FOR - Expanding access to mental health care in Iowa

Sub-committee has not met.

ACTION: Contact Com. On Human Resources.  Representative Meyer. Ask her if the Human Resources will meet to move HSB531 through the funnel.  

POVERTY BILLS

House Study Bill 504 - AGAINST - Public assistance computerized identification  

ACTION: Contact House Human Resources and ask the legislators to Oppose this bill, HSB 504

House Study Bill 507 - AGAINST - Public assistance eligibility    

ACTION:  Contact House Human  Resources and ask legislators to Oppose this bill, HSB507.

House Study Bill 508 - AGAINST      Food Stamp Asset Test        

ACTION:? Contact Human Resources and ask legislators to Oppose this bill, HSB508

ENVIRONMENT/BOTTLE BILL RECYCLING

Senate Study Bill 3033 - Undecided - Bottle Bill  Com On Commerce  

We are registered as UNDECIDED because the legislature is still working on this bill.  It has some good features including ones that encourage local recyclers to open businesses which could employ disabled workers at better wages. This bill doubles the rate from 1 cent to 2 cents handling fee for each bottle or can.  It keeps recycling at grocery stores if there is not a recycling center nearby (still working on definition of nearby.)  It is a bill to watch.  Talk to your legislators. 

To all participants: THANK YOU FOR CONTACTING YOUR LEGISLATORS.  

You are the ones that influence legislators and the Governor. Tell your stories.  Remind them that you are a constituent.  Mention you are calling on behalf of The United Methodist Church.   

If you have questions or comments, please contact one of the Legislative Advocate Team Members. 

ADVOCACY TEAM of The United Methodist Iowa Annual Conference
Brian Carter: briancar@dwx.com
Rita Carter: ritaac@mchsi.com
Gary Nims: gary.nims@gmail.com
Cherie Minor: minadams@netins.net
Peggy Aguilar: pjlhaguilar1@gmail.com
Robert Mulqueen: robert.mulqueen@gmail.com   (Consultant member)

United Methodist Women Liaison
Deb Streff: debstreff@gmail.com