The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

March 22, 2014

State child care assistance plan in the works

This week the Iowa House passed House File 2070 on a 91-2 vote. This is a bill allowing low-income parents who split time between work and school to be eligible for state child care assistance.

Under HF2070 families would be eligible if parents work and go to school for a combined minimum of 28 hours. This bill makes the change on a trial basis in four counties – Pottawattamie, Hamilton, Scott, and Lee – with the hope this program can be expanded in the future. This measure is now subject to negotiations between the House and Senate.

Senate File 366 regarding radon testing in Iowa schools also passed the Iowa House, setting up negotiations between the House and Senate over the issue. The House-passed version directs the State Department of Education to encourage school districts to test for the presence of radon gas and to address high concentrations of radon gas if it is found. The bill contains no actual mandate for school districts to perform the testing. Radon is an odorless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in Iowa soil, and is believed to be the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Two other bills passed in the House are in regard to human-trafficking involving minors and civil commitment for sexually violent predators. These two bills also will now return to the Senate for further consideration. The civil commitment for sexually violent predators is intended to keep sexually violent predators off the streets once they are released from prison and would allow people convicted of a violent sexual offense as a juvenile to be sent to a civil containment unit.

Always feel free to contact me on any issue before the Iowa Legislature. I can be reached at (515) 281-5429 during the week or by e-mail at steven.olson@legis.iowa.gov or visit the web page for information at www.iowahouserepublicans.com/members/steven-olson.

Rep. Steve Olson of DeWitt, represents the 97th District in the Iowa House.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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