GOP: Speaker Upmeyer’s Weekly Newsletter

February 19, 2016
By

UTGD

Funnel week

This week was the first funnel deadline which means that for any House bill to remain eligible for consideration, it needed to have passed at least one House committee, and vice versa for the Senate.  In a few weeks we’ll reach the second funnel, where Senate bills must pass at least one House committee, and again, vice versa in the Senate.  Subcommittee and committee work consumed our time as members made sure priority bills would move forward.  The funnels exist to narrow the Legislature’s focus as session moves along so that more attention can be put on bills that receive wide support.

A complete list of bills that survived the funnel deadline will be available next week on the House Republican website.   Many of these bills are focused on growing the economy, creating flexibility for schools, developing opportunities for Iowa jobs, as well as protecting Iowa families and taxpayers.  Here are some examples:

More Flexibility for Schools
House Republicans continue our efforts to ease the burden on school districts by loosening up funds under their control and providing local decision making.  House File 2312 would allow Professional Development dollars ($30 million per year) to be used to purchase textbooks and curriculum for classroom purposes, if the purchase includes professional development material.

Banning Synthetic Drugs
Fighting against the use and production of synthetic drugs continues to be a priority for House Republicans and we addressed this again this year.  House File 2309 continues that work to protect our young people by keeping dangerous and deadly synthetic drugs off the streets, and making it easier to prosecute sellers.

Strengthening Iowan’s Second Amendment Freedoms
House File 2279 follows the lead of 41 other states to allow the possession of a firearm suppressor after going through a rigorous process.  Suppressors in reality are not what we see in movies.  Suppressors do not silence firearms, but simply reduce the decibel level, primarily for those who shoot for recreation in competitions as well as hunting.  Another bill, House File 2314, would protect the personal information of weapons permit holders, so that those who may wish to obtain a firearm by illegal means, don’t have access to a list of potential people to steal from.  In addition, this bill creates a more uniform permitting process across the state, streamlining the application process and ensuring efficiency which will really help county sheriffs and law enforcement.  Both of these bills received wide bipartisan support during subcommittee and committee hearings.

Spurring Growth in Biochemical Production
House File 2288 will help grow the economy and create new jobs by incentivizing production of renewable biochemical products, a new and expanding industry right here in Iowa.  This bill will help establish Iowa as a leader in production of value-added by-products that benefit many industries right here in Iowa.

Protecting Taxpayers
While the state budget is not subject to the funnel deadlines, work continues to be done to ensure that we live within our means and prevent the use of one-time funding to pay for ongoing needs.  Iowa families and businesses operate under this common sense philosophy, and government should be no different.

As always, please keep in touch.  As legislation is moving forward, feel free to send me comments, questions, or feedback that you may have regarding issues before us in the House. I can be reached at linda.upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov or (515) 281-3521.

 

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