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District 72 Update

March 8, 2019
By State Rep. Dean Fisher - R-Montour , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Newsletter for Thursday,

February 28, 2019

We are quickly approaching "Funnel Week", which is when all policy bills need to be voted out of committee for them to be considered for further action. Each year hundreds of bills are filed, but only about 200 make it through the funnel deadline. Each individual legislator is able to file any bill they wish, giving each district's representative their say. Those bills are then assigned to a committee where the committee chair decides which bills have merit and will be assigned to a subcommittee of three for further consideration, and which bills will simply be set aside. This winnowing process continues on for weeks as bills work their way through the subcommittees and full committees.

Article Photos

State Rep. Dean Fisher
R-Montour

House File 546 - SAVE Extension - "Secure an Advanced Vision for Education" is a one percent sales tax that was added in 2008 to provide for our public school infrastructure improvements and reduce the impact on property taxes these needed improvement would have made. Since its enactment, the number of school bond referendums has dropped dramatically.

This bill seeks to extend the SAVE tax beyond its present sunset of 2029 to 2050. It is important to extend the SAVE fund now in order to allow schools to bond against that revenue.

Iowans have indicated that school safety be a priority, so we have included in this bill requirements that schools to prioritize these funds for upgrades like secure entrances, security cameras, and other safety enhancements before using SAVE funds for sports facilities.

Property tax relief is also included in the SAVE bill. Currently 2.1% of the funds generated from SAVE are devoted to reducing property taxes for local residents. Under this bill, that portion will increase to 12% over the next ten years.

This will result in more than $120 million in annual property tax relief at full implementation. House Republicans are constantly looking for ways to address the priorities of Iowans such as education and safety while also giving our hard-working taxpayers a seat at the table.

House Joint Resolution 3 - This resolution calls for an amendment to the Iowa Constitution to add the right to keep and bear arms. Iowa is one of only six states that do not have such a provision.

I proudly voted for this resolution in the House Public Safety Committee this past week with some slight wording corrections in an amendment. It moves on as amended as HJR 13 for consideration on the House Floor.

House Study Bill 139 - Iowa has numerous boards and commissions that are required by law, with hundreds and hundreds of members sitting on them. There are far too many compared to most other states and many of these boards have become obsolete or redundant.

An initiative is underway to reduce the number of these boards and commissions. I have been assigned a bill in the Public Safety Committee that was initiated by the Iowa Department of Human Rights that helps reduce that number of boards.

This bill eliminates the Sex Offender Research Council and the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Council and rolls those responsibilities into the existing Public Safety Advisory Board.

Currently these three boards comprise 58 seats but because two of them have many of the same board members sitting on them, there are over 40 persons involved.

This bill reduces the number of members to 28.

While these board positions are unpaid, there are expenses for travel that will be reduced, and more importantly many of these members are professionals being paid in their field to attend these meetings and generate the reports, so there will be more savings in the efficiency of time realized by this reduction.

This bill passed the Public Safety Committee this past week unanimously and is ready for consideration on the House Floor.

As always, I can be reached at dean.fisher@legis.iowa.gov and at 641-750-3594.

 
 
 

 

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