01-31-2020 | Government & Regulatory, Lobbying & Public Policy

2020 Legislative Session – Week 3

By: BrownWinick

House and Senate Republicans introduced their school funding proposals for the coming year.  The House bill, HSB 587 would allocate $100 million for K-12 education—a 2.5% increase from last year.  That’s slightly below the $103 million Governor Kim Reynolds called for in her Condition of the State address.  The Senate measure, SSB 3096, would increase school funding by 2.1%, or $91.7 million.

On the national stage, Rep. Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend President Donald Trump’s signing of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA).  Upmeyer applauded U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst for their efforts in ratifying the USMCA, calling the treaty “a major win for Iowa’s ag industry, small businesses, middle class workers, and our economy.”

Meanwhile, Governor Kim Reynolds made her third appointment to the Iowa Supreme Court this week.  Cedar Rapids attorney Dana Oxley will fill the vacancy left by the sudden death of Chief Justice Mark Cady in November.  Oxley practiced civil litigation and served as an adjunct professor at the University of Iowa College of Law.  Reynolds will also make another appointment to the state supreme court later this year to replace Acting Chief Justice David Wiggins, who is retiring.

Following devastating floods in western Iowa last year, Reynolds joined with the governors of Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska to sign an agreement to collaborate on flood recovery and control efforts.  Among other things, the states agreed to work together on flood control and mitigation studies; coordinate flood infrastructure development; and share information on flood-related efforts among various state agencies.  They also agreed to jointly push for states to have more leadership over federal management of the river.

Looking ahead to next week, lawmakers will be working on a condensed schedule to focus on Monday’s presidential caucuses.  They will return to the statehouse Tuesday.  With former U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) dropping out of the race Friday, Democrats will have 11 candidates to choose from.  Although President Donald Trump remains the presumptive GOP nominee, Republicans will also hold caucuses