Legislative Action Alert #6

Legislative Action Alert #6

March 15, 2022

The deadline for Passage of Key Bills  is Friday,  March 18, 2022


House Study Bill 672 - AGAINST - Creates Vouchers for Private Schools        

HSB 672  “A bill for an act relating to education, including establishing a student first scholarship program and a student first enrollment supplement fund, requiring the boards of directors of school districts to publish certain specified information, modifying provisions related to required social studies instruction, open enrollment, teacher librarian endorsements, competent private instruction, and special education, making appropriations, providing penalties, and including effective date, applicability, and retroactive applicability provisions.”

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 homeschooling 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 United Methodist 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 underprivileged 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 funds and support efforts to end unjust disparities between rich and poor communities.  House Study Bill 672  takes education money from public schools and uses it to pay for private school students.  We have declared AGAINST this proposed new policy.            

Action: Contact House Appropriations Committee members, your own House Representative, and House Leadership (see below) and tell them to oppose HSB 672 and any bill that establishes a voucher program for Private Schools.  Taxpayer money should be used for public schools, not for private schools.

Speaker: Pat.Grassley@legis.iowa.gov
*Speaker Pro Tempore: John.Wills@legis.iowa.gov
Majority Leader: Matt.Windschitl@legis.iowa.gov
Majority Whip: Mike.Sexton@legis.iowa.gov
Assistant Majority Leader: Cecil.Dolecheck@legis.iowa.gov
Assistant Majority Leader: Joe.Mitchell@legis.iowa.gov
Assistant Majority Leader: Brent.Siegrist@legis.iowa.gov
Assistant Majority Leader: Jon.Thorup@legis.iowa.gov

Rather than giving away public money to private schools, the governor and legislators need to focus on the 92% of Iowa’s public school children and fully fund their education.

You can help defeat vouchers for private schools. The House of Representatives is being pressured to pass this legislation. Let them know that you care and you vote. Tell them to vote NO to vouchers. CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS TODAY!! 

Senate File 2122 - AGAINST - Limits the number of redemption centers, especially in urban areas

This legislation is going forward, having passed the Senate Ways and Means sub-committee on Monday, March 14.

Senate File 2122 was introduced by Senator Rosenboom and says “An Act relating to the redemption of and payment of refund value on beverage containers, making appropriations, providing penalties, and including effective date provisions.”

This bill keeps the 5 cent deposit on beverages and the 1 cent handling fee that goes to redemption centers to whom consumers can return the beverages for redemption.  It requires sellers of beverages (grocery stores and gas stations etc.) to receive the empty containers for redemption unless there is another redemption center within a 20-mile radius of the store.

It also allows the redemption of alcoholic beverage containers.

The Legislative Advocates of the United Methodist Church have declared AGAINST this bill because the effect would be to severely limit the number of redemption centers, especially in urban areas.  

Action:  Contact your senator and tell them to vote against this legislation unless it has been amended to require more redemption centers in urban areas, and increases the handling fees for redemption centers.

THANK YOU FOR CONTACTING YOUR LEGISLATORS.  It is an effective way to transform the world along with the teachings of Jesus Christ.  

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 suggestions or comments, please contact one of the Legislative Advocate Members,

Brian Carter                            briancar@dwx.com
Rita Carter                              ritaac@mchsi.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