By Rita Hart
Special to the Herald
The Senate is debating and passing lots of bills on the floor, which makes for some very busy days. It got even busier for me because I’ve had several visitors at the Capitol.
My husband, Paul, came for a couple of days and ended up spending the entire week. He enjoyed visiting some of the Des Moines attractions (like the Historical Museum) and watching the debate process. It was great to have him meet the other legislators and sit in on the committee meetings.
Also, it was County Week at the Capitol, so several Clinton and Scott county people were on hand to lobby on county issues. We also got to spend time with the AFSCME people and some wonderful students from Drake Law School.
This week we are hoping to welcome back Senator Tom Courtney of Burlington, who has been recovering from heart surgery. I am so glad that Senator Courtney is getting stronger every day so that he can rejoin us in our efforts here at the Capitol.
One piece of legislation we’ll be bringing up once he is back is a bill to help fight Iowa’s radon problem.
Iowa is one of the states most affected by radon exposure, a known cause of lung cancer. Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas, and we must get it out of our kids’ classrooms. To that end, the Senate State Government Committee approved Senate File 366.
This bill will strengthen requirements and standards for radon control in new construction. In addition, schools would be required to test for radon by June 30, 2015, and at least once every 10 years after that.
Schools with high levels of radon will need to bring in a professional to develop a radon mitigation plan and undergo radon testing every two years. A school district’s physical plant and equipment levy dollars will pay for the costs.
Senator Rita Hart represents Clinton County and northern Scott County in the Iowa Senate.