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 Statehouse News

 
Dear %%First Name%%,

I have just finished my fourth week in Des Moines.  The amount of work to be done increases and the time to get it done is decreasing, but I want you to know I am working very hard for all.  

The House Education Committee voted Wednesday night to approve a 1% increase for school SSA.  State tax revenues are projected to be 4% above 2018 for the fiscal year 2019.  Fiscal year 2019 starts July 1, 2018.  Most school districts that I represent have flat to declining certified enrollments.  The House Majority is not making public education a priority with a 1% increase in support.  If these plans are followed through with Iowa will have fewer teachers, fewer support staff, and larger classes.  I voted no.  I know we could put more state money towards public education instead of giving money to large corporations for their growth.   Our priorities are upside down.

I am also on the committee for Education Appropriation.  This covers the regent universities, the community colleges and the School for the Blind.  The de-appropriation that is currently being discussed in the Senate will trim up to $55 million from the 2018 budget that ends in June.  The recommendation is that $30 million in cuts will come from the state universities and our community colleges.  This doesn’t make sense since they train our future workforce.  I am against these cuts.

It was great seeing many of you this last week make the trip to Des Moines.  Stay in touch.


On January 31, Representative Miller welcomed Dr. Laurie Noll, Superintendent of Fairfield Schools, to the Capitol. 



Jerry Bartruff, the Director of the Department of Corrections was at the Capitol this week to visit with Representative Phil Miller. Jerry is a longtime family friend and at one point lived in Fairfield.


Cheryl Jones, Health Services Coordinator at Ottumwa Regional Center was at the Statehouse this week and visited with Representative Phil Miller. Cheryl lives near Bloomfield.


As member of the House Education Committee Representative Phil Miller was pleased to meet with Fairfield superintendent Dr. Laurie Noll and Cindy Yelick, who is Chief Administrator of the Great Prairie AEA in Ottumwa.


This week education advocates came to the Statehouse and Representative Phil Miller met with Fairfield superintendent Dr. Laurie Noll and Debi Plum, Fairfield school board member.


Representative Phil Miller joined Teri Baker and Rusty Lippincott with the Fairfield Convention Center at the "This is Iowa" Iowa Tourism Night at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

News from the Statehouse


GOP Lawmakers Plan Budget Cuts to Job Training

Republican lawmakers in the Senate have released their plan to cut $52 million from the state budget this year, with about half of the cuts in job training and higher education.  It’s the fourth time this year the state budget has been facing a deficit.

Called the deappropriations bill, Senate File 2117 would have a significant impact on families with kids in college, protections and services for Iowans in need, and close 30 county courthouses.

At a time when Iowans need additional job training beyond high school, the proposed bill cuts $7 million from the Skilled Worker Training Fund.  Iowa’s three state universities would be cut by $20 million this year and community colleges would lose $5.4 million which means tuition would go up for those students and families.  While Senate Republicans didn’t propose a specific $10 million cut to Medicaid as proposed by the Governor, they are recommending that the Department of Human Services find $10 million in unspecified cuts.

In response to the $4.8 million proposed cut to the Judicial Branch, the courts issued a letter stating they would be forced to close 30 courthouses indefinitely if the bill is approved.  The courts, just like all other state agencies were hit with a deappropriation in the previous fiscal year and have not yet recovered from that cut.   

Senate File 2117 is awaiting debate by the full Senate.


House Proposes Even Lower School Aid than Last Year

Republican lawmakers are fast tracking a plan for yet another historically low increase in basic funding for public schools next year.  The level of funding proposed at 1% next year, is the lowest amount in seven years and lower than last year.  In fact, eight of the last nine years have been the lowest funding levels in the history of the school aid formula.  

In recent years, low public school funding has led to higher class sizes, school closings, fewer technology upgrades, and pink slips for teachers.

Many Iowans are also concerned about the anemic investments in public schools while Republican lawmakers are also considering a new voucher plan to take $200 million from public schools and shift it to private schools and homeschools instead.

The bill, House Study Bill 586, may be voted by the House as early as next week.


Upcoming Events


February 17--Fairfield Legislative Forum, 7:30am-9:00am, @Fairfield Public Library, 104 W. Adams Ave

February 24-- Keosauqua Legislative Listening Post, 9:00am @Keosauqua Great Day Café, 202 Main St
February 24-- Bloomfield Legislative Listening Post, 12:00 pm @Rancho Centinela, 102 South Madison

March 17--Fairfield Legislative Forum, 7:30am-9:00am, @Fairfield Public Library, 104 W. Adams Ave

March 24-- Keosauqua Legislative Listening Post, 9:00am @Keosauqua Great Day Café, 202 Main St
March 24-- Bloomfield Legislative Listening Post, 12:00 pm @Rancho Centinela, 102 South Madison

April 21-- Fairfield Legislative Forum, 7:30am-9:00am, @Fairfield Public Library, 104 W. Adams Ave

April 28th-- Keosauqua Legislative Listening Post, 9:00am @Keosauqua Great Day Café, 202 Main St
April 28th-- Bloomfield Legislative Listening Post, 12:00 pm @Rancho Centinela, 102 South Madison

More News from the Statehouse


State Income Tax Deadlines Approaching
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Extended Six Years
Expansion of Lights on Snowplows Passes Committee     
Number of Deer Infected with Chronic Wasting Disease in Iowa Grows



Contact Representative Phil Miller

Capitol
1009 Grand Ave
Iowa House of Representatives
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-281-3221
Home      
902 S. Suncrest Drive
Fairfield, IA 52556
641-472-2511
                        
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