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District 72 Update

January 27, 2015
By State Rep. Dean Fisher - R-Garwin , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Week 2

The formalities that mark the first week have given way to committee meetings. Bills are getting filed and assigned to committees and subcommittees. We've gotten down to business.

The Budget

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State Rep. Dean Fisher

The primary budget issue this week is school funding. The governor proposed a 1.25% increase in Supplemental State Aid in his Condition of the State address, or roughly $35 million.

As you may have heard, the state's revenue growth has not materialized as anticipated a year ago. If we use last year's budget of $6.98 billion as a baseline then we only have an additional $220 million in new revenue. When combined with the $50 million in new Teacher Leadership Compensation (education reform money), we are committing $100 million in new funding to schools this year. Nearly half of the new money coming into the state will already be committed to education before any other budget has been settled. This is a tremendous commitment to education.

My Bills

Electrical Contractors bill - Current

law requires that an electrical contractor must supervise an apprentice worker 100% of the time. If the Master or Journeyman electrician supervising leaves the job site the apprentice must stop working. This places an unacceptable burden on our small town contractors. For example, if a contractor and apprentice are wiring a new house, when the contractor gets a service call to repair a furnace on the other side of town, the apprentice must stop working until his boss returns. This bill will change the law to require that the apprentice receive a minimum of 25% of the time worked under supervision each day, a much more reasonable requirement.

Principal Sharing bill - Currently Iowa school funding allows for incentives for schools to share positions between school districts. For example, sharing a superintendent will not only reduce the salary burden, but the state also provides additional financial incentives to the sharing school districts for a period of years. This is a benefit particularly useful for our smaller school districts. This bill adds the position of school principal to that list of positions. This is in response to a specific request in our district.

I have also signed on as co-sponsor on a number of other bills that my colleagues have filed. Many of these have been pro Second Amendment bills such as "Stand Your Ground" and a Constitutional Amendment to add the right to keep and bear arms to the Iowa Constitution. There are other bills in the works that I am collaborating on, I will discuss them as they come up for committee review or debate in the full House.

In the District

Wednesday evening I had the pleasure of attending the ribbon cutting for the new Advanced Manufacturing Lab and Health Occupations Lab at Marshalltown Community College. The manufacturing lab provides for training in machine tool technology and electro-mechanical systems commonly found in manufacturing. The new Health Occupations labs for nursing and dental students include modern hospital equipment and a simulated ambulance for training Emergency Medical Technicians. These facilities will help MCC fill the "skilled worker gap" that our employers are having difficulty filling.

As always, feel free to contact me at with your thoughts and concerns about our state government.



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