The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

April 16, 2013

School funding compromise is on the way

As week 13 of the 85th General Assembly came to a close Friday, I am able to see a little light at the end of the tunnel.

In an effort to come to a resolution on the Education Reform bill that is before the House and Senate Conference Committee, House Republicans offered a compromise that will allow schools to plan ahead and implement their budgets focused on achievement-driven reform. House Education Chairman Representative Jorgensen offered a compromise plan that will keep policy language and appropriations intact for HF215, with a 2 percent increase in allowable growth for fiscal year 2014 plus a one-time payment equal to 2 percent allowable growth, as well as a 4 percent increase in allowable growth for fiscal year 2015. This house proposal amounts to an increase of $144.7 million for FY2014 and a $195 million increase for FY2015.

Senate File 389, a bill concerning hunter safety, passed out of the House Tuesday. Under current law, hunters born in 1972 or after are required to complete a 10-hour hunting safety and ethics course, pass a test, and demonstrate safe handling of a firearm to receive a hunting license.

SF389 revised the law so Iowans that are at least 18 years of age do not have to demonstrate the ability to handle a weapon.

The Medicaid debate continues here at the capitol among those who favor the full expansion of Medicaid, those who are onboard with Governor Branstad’s Healthy Iowa Plan, and those who would like to see a proposal combining both of the proposals that have been put forward.

On April 10, a joint memorial service was held in the Senate Chamber honoring 25 former lawmakers. Senator Rita Hart and my clerk, Eunice Olson, were members of the memorial choir participating in the service.

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.state.ia.us or visit the web page for information at www.iowahouserepublicans.com/members/steven-olson.

Republican Steve Olson of DeWitt serves in the Iowa House of Representatives. He represents House District 83, which covers portions of Clinton and Scott counties.

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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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