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Majority Leader Hagenow’s Capitol Update

Hagenow

Fiscal Year 2017 Underway

August is here and the 2016 Iowa State Fair has officially kicked off. As always, this year’s fair is packed full of top notch entertainment, food, and opportunities to participate.

The fair showcases the best of what our state has to offer; from agriculture and industry to music and culinary arts, and everything in between. I hope you take the opportunity to get out and enjoy the best state fair in the country. Read more »

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Majority Leader Hagenow’s Capitol Update

Hagenow

Legislative Council Appoints Interim Study Committees

Earlier this month, the Legislative Council met to discuss legislative matters that occur outside of session. The council is made up of legislative leaders and selected members of both parties from the House and Senate.

The Legislative Council has many duties, primarily of which is overseeing the legislative branch while not in session. The council is also responsible for appointing interim study committees, which are designed to examine various areas of policy and report their findings back to the legislature. This information helps us craft better policy that better meets the needs of Iowans. Read more »

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Majority Leader Hagenow’s Capitol Update

Hagenow

Summer Reading Pilot Study Kicks Off

A new summer reading pilot program is now underway. This program, being conducted in 44 school districts and reaching around 1,800 students, will serve as an opportunity for schools to identify best practices to most effectively help third-grade students who are not proficient in reading by the end of third-grade.

In 2012, the Iowa Legislature passed the Iowa Early Reading Initiative as part of a broader education reform initiative. The law requires students’ reading proficiency to be tracked from the earliest grades to determine if the student is on track to reach proficiency. Students that are in danger of not reading at a proficient level would receive additional resources to help catch up. Read more »

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Majority Leader Hagenow’s Capitol Update

Hagenow

New Legislation Effective July 1

The beginning of July marks a great time of year. We celebrate Independence Day, enjoy the beautiful weather, and spend time with those we love. My family has already kicked off our summer fun with visits to several of our state parks, family cookouts, bike rides, and more.

In state government, the beginning of July is also noteworthy. July 1 is the first day of the state’s fiscal year and the date most legislation signed into law this year goes into effect. Along with the beginning of our new state budget, here are some notable laws effective July 1:
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Majority Leader Hagenow’s Capitol Update

Hagenow

Helping Emergency Responders to Better Serve Iowans

Americans woke up last week to the news of the horrible tragedy that took place in Orlando. We all as Americans are saddened and troubled by another act of terror on our nation’s soil. My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of those whose lives were lost.

While mourning the loss of innocent life, one question to ask is if an unthinkable situation like this should happen in our state, would our law enforcement and emergency personnel have the tools needed to respond as effectively as possible? Read more »

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Majority Leader Hagenow’s Capitol Update

Hagenow

Final Action of the 2016 Legislative Session Concludes

The final action of the 2016 legislative session took place on Friday, May 27, with Governor Branstad signing the last batch of bills into law.

The governor signed all spending provisions in the 2016 budget as passed by the legislature. The budget enacted into law is once again balanced. House Republicans have always made it a top priority to craft the state budget using common sense budgeting principles of not spending more than we take in and not using one-time money for ongoing needs. These budgeting practices have provided certainty to Iowans by preventing across-the-board cuts and tax hikes.

I am proud of our caucus for working diligently on behalf of the taxpayers of Iowa to craft a fiscally sound budget that meets the priority needs of Iowans. Read more »

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Majority Leader Hagenow’s Capitol Update

Hagenow

Opportunities in the 21st Century Economy

Over the past two legislative sessions, there has been considerable effort put into legislation to establish a statewide regulatory structure for Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s) such as Uber. It would promote expansion in the state while ensuring protection for both drivers and passengers.

Without a statewide framework for ride-sharing services, each individual jurisdiction was left to craft its own set of regulations. This can lead to a patchwork of local rules, which creates confusion for Uber drivers, and may unnecessarily drive up the cost for TNC’s to offer their service altogether.

Also important within this legislation is the need for updated laws governing the treatment of TNC’s under Iowa’s insurance code. Under existing law, driving for a TNC is considered a commercial activity, and therefore the driver’s personal auto coverage may not provide coverage. Read more »

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Capitol Update – Week 16

Hagenow

86th General Assembly Comes to a Close

On Friday afternoon, the Iowa Legislature adjourned sine die, closing out our work for the 2016 legislative session and the 86th general assembly. On Friday, I delivered my closing remarks highlighting our work this year:

We began this legislative session with high ambitions. Ambitions to meet the priority needs of Iowans by passing a balanced budget, giving K-12 schools funds they could count on, and working towards policies that lead to greater economic prosperity in our great state.

In my opening remarks on the first day of session, I promised that House Republicans would work quickly and diligently to resolve K-12 education funding. Keeping with that, the first bill that we brought forward for debate was Supplemental State Aid for the coming fiscal year. We resolved this issue by directing 77% of new state revenue to the tune of $135 million in new funding for K-12 schools.

House Republicans are committed to protecting hardworking taxpayers’ dollars. This year, our caucus championed a bill that prevented a $95 million tax increase on small businesses, farmers, teachers, seniors, homeowners, parents and students.
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Capitol Update – Week 14

Hagenow

Meet Ben

Each fall, some of the most talented high school juniors and seniors from across the state are selected to serve as pages for the upcoming legislative session. Pages are an instrumental part of the work we do in the legislature. The tasks they assist with help all of the members and staff to be more efficient which helps us do a better job serving the people of Iowa. It is also an incredible chance for students to gain first-hand experience in the daily workings of state government while making lifelong friendships with peers from across the state.

As House Majority Leader, I have an office page to assist me and my staff. This year, I selected Ben Lanham from Urbandale. I’ve asked him to share his perspective on being a page. Read more »

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Capitol Update – Week 11

Hagenow

Pieces Coming Together

My two-year daughter has recently discovered a love for puzzles. It’s easy for her to spread everything out all over the floor, but it’s a challenge for her to put the first few pieces back together. Once she gets a good start, the remaining pieces are much easier for her to put into place. The legislative session is not much different.

We have made great progress in recent weeks, and we are now able to move on to filling in the final pieces of the legislative puzzle. Read more »

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Dansette