Advocacy in Action

This page is your home for all things legislative and advocacy related. We have an update from our lobbyist at the Capitol each week, summaries of important bills, and then steps for you to get involved!

Contact Your Legislator    IASB Legislative Priorities     Iowa Legislature

Under the Golden Dome

The budget process has begun in the legislature although the two chambers have not reached an agreement on budget targets. Here’s a quick synopsis of where things stand: 

In addition, the charter school bill continued its march toward final passage. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved HF 813 with no changes, clearing the way for final floor consideration in the Senate. Legislators are discussing some minor changes to improve transparency and protections for students but those will be added to another vehicle, most likely the standing appropriations bill.

Finally, the Senate passed a bill, SF 587, that eliminates PERL, a voter approved levy imposed by 27 school districts. If the House agrees, expect that the next target will be the voter approved PPEL levy. Our advocacy action of the week outlines what you can do to protect these two important levies. 

This will be the last regularly scheduled legislative update until the end of the legislative session unless significant action impacting our members warrants an update.

 

 

Bills on the Move

As bills begin to be introduced and moved through the legislative process, we will have summaries and updates on their status. 

Read Bill Summaries

Bills Supported by IASB that Did Not Survive 

HF 294 – Telehealth Reimbursement for Behavioral Health 

HF 784 – Reimbursement for Telehealth Services 

HF 845 – Shared Operational Function Expansion 

SF 467 – In-Person Instruction 

SF 545 – Learning Recovery Taskforce  

Bills Opposed by IASB that Did Not Survive

HF 585 – Safe and Sound Program 

HF 771 – Self Administration of Respiratory Distress Medication 

HF 795 – Seizure Disorder Requirements 

SF 409 – Filing Complaints to Iowa Public Information Board 

SF 555 – Vaccine Exemptions 

Bills Monitored by IASB that Did Not Survive

HF 316 – District of Residence with Open Enrollment 

HF 385 - Open Enrollment Modifications 

HF 414 – Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault Awareness 

HF 415 – Pledge of Allegiance 

HF 778 – School Building Demolition  

SF 425 – Expanding the Definition of Open Meetings 

SF 478 – Protecting First Amendment Rights 

SF 572 – Statute of Limitations 

SF 580 - Big Tech Censorship 

Essential Resources

2021 Legislative Guide
We are better together—a stronger voice in advocating for the needs of Iowa students and public education. This process consists of building relationships, telling the story of public education and brushing up on key legislative issues for 2021. As we continue to weather the effects of COVID-19, IASB will push for additional resources to help get students back on track, reliable and on-time funding, supports for mental health resources in schools, and ensuring preschool is funded so all 4 and 5-year-olds have access to crucial early education.

This advocacy guide includes background information on key issues, an in-depth look at issues for the 2021 legislative session, talking points and tips for you to use with legislators, and IASB resources that will help you advocate on behalf of your district.

View Advocacy Guide

Advocacy Action of the Week

Is your district one of the 27 districts who has a voter approved Public Education and Recreation Levy (PERL) property tax levy? If so, now is the time to contact your House members and ask that they oppose a provision in SF 587 that would eliminate this voter approved levy.

Does your district have a voter approved Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) property tax levy? If so, you should also contact your House members and ask that they oppose SF 587. 

Senator Dawson, floor manager of the bill in the Senate, has made it clear that the legislature should eliminate the authority for districts to have infrastructure levies, even if they are voter approved. Senator Dawson said that SAVE should be enough and voters deserve a reduction in property taxes. If the legislature eliminates the PERL, rest assured that the next target will be PPEL. 

Here are the key points to make with your House members: 

  • PERL was approved by the voters. If the voters didn’t support the board’s plan, they would have voted it down. 
  • Explain how the resources from this levy work to the benefit of the school district AND your local community. 
  • Eliminating PERL sets the stage for eliminating the voter approved PPEL levy, denying voters and local school districts of important resources for school infrastructure. 
  • Ask your Republican House members to let Speaker Grassley and House Ways and Means Chairman Lee Hein (a former school board member) that they oppose the elimination of voter-approved property tax levies. 

You can find contact information for your legislators using our Legislator Look-Up tool. 

REC Update

The Revenue Estimating Conference, or REC, met on March 19, 2021. Read IASB's full analysis

Federal Update

President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act on Thursday, March 11, now updated to include funding allocation by state, which amounts to $774 million for Iowa. Read IASB's full summary of the bill

Latest Podcast episode: Second Funnel Recap

Capitol Chats: Across the Aisle with IASB
Our government relations team provides a rundown of everything that survived—and didn't survive—the legislature's second funnel deadline, from preschool expansion to property tax changes. Plus, learn which bills still need your advocacy to reach the finish line this year.
 
 

Priorities in Primetime Webinar Series

We have concluded our Priorities in Primetime webinar series, but you can watch recordings of the webinars. Each webinar focuses on one of our legislative priorities: SSA & School Funding, COVID-19 Remediation for Student Achievement, Mental Health, and Preschool.