04/09/21 Legislative Update

12 Apr 2021 6:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

AEA Funding Update Bill Introduced

In an effort to begin the discussion regarding proper funding for Area Education Agencies (AEA), Senate Study Bill 1260 has been introduced.

The proposal seeks to address AEA funding inequities, especially between urban and rural areas.

We will keep you updated on this important effort.


Increase in School Mental Health Program In House Budget Bill

The House Education Appropriations Bill was given the go-ahead by that chamber’s appropriations subcommittee yesterday.

Included in the bill is an increase in funding for the ISSWA-backed Children’s Mental Health School Based Training and Support program.  For the first two years, the program was funded at $2.1 million. Thanks to our support for the program, the House has proposed a $1.0 million dollar increase, bringing the total appropriation to $3.1 million.

The funds will be used by area education agencies to provide mental health awareness training for educators, support mental health needs of schools, and maintain a clearinghouse of mental health resources.

The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the bill early next week.

It is important to note that the House and Senate are very, very far apart on spending plans for FY 22.  We will likely need to send emails of support for the program and the funding increase to the Senate beginning the middle of next week.


Bills of interest :

SF 532 (formerly SSB 1231) - BOEE Recognition and Certification (F) - The bill as amended by the Senate would require all mental health professionals providing services at a school to have a Board of Educational Examiners recognition.

Approved by the Senate 47-0. On House debate calendar.


SF 524 (formerly SSB 1227) - Psych Bed Tracking (F) - This bill establishes an inpatient psychiatric bed tracking system study committee.

The department of public health shall submit a report of the study committee detailing the committee’s findings and recommendations, including a proposed date to implement real-time electronic data tracking, to the general assembly and the governor no later than December 15, 2021.

Passed the Senate 48-0. On House debate calendar


SF 354 (formerly SF 163) - CEU Hardship Relief (M) - The bill authorizes a licensing board to extend the deadline to satisfy continuing education requirements by up to 90 days if a board finds that a licensee is experiencing an unforeseen financial or medical hardship and the licensee submits a request to a licensing board to extend the deadline due to the financial or medical hardship accompanied by evidence that the licensee or a member of the licensee’s family is experiencing a financial or medical hardship.

Passed the Senate 48-0. On House debate calendar


SF 258 (formerly SF 117) - Surtax for School Safety Officers (M) - This bill authorizes school districts to raise additional amounts of property tax or income surtax under the instructional support program for certain school resource officer expenses.

Approved by the Ed Committee. Approved by Ways and Means Subcommittee


SSB 1260 - AEA Funding Equity (F) - This bill relates to area education agencies by modifying certain categorical funding supplement calculations and enrollment determinations to better provide funding to rural and urban agencies.

Subcommittee: 


HF 813 (formerly HSB 242) - Charter Schools (A) - The bill establishes a new statewide charter school program.  

Approved by the House 55-40. Approved by the Senate Education Committee. Approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. On Senate debate calendar


HF 485 (formerly HF 107) - In-Person Clinical Supervision (M) - The bill provides that the board of social work and the board of behavioral science shall not require that supervision of an applicant for a license as a social worker, marital or family therapist, or mental health counselor be completed in-person.

Approved by the House 96-0. On Senate debate calendar


HF 285 (formerly HSB 61) - Music Therapist Certification (M) - This bill requires any person claiming to be a music  therapist to hold a music therapist board-certified credential granted by the certification board for music therapists or a professional designation in good standing listed on the national music therapy registry. The bill as proposed would also likely impede the use of therapeutic music by non music therapists.

Approved by the House 89-4.  On Senate debate calendar



Passed by both chambers:


SF 160 - Get Back Into the Classroom (A) - This bill, a priority of Governor Reynolds, sets forth the criteria for a school district to provide in-person instruction.

Passed the Senate 29-18; Passed the House 59-39. Signed into law by Governor Reynolds 1/29


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