04/06/2020 Legislative Update

15 Apr 2020 10:19 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Your Help Needed For Important School Mental Health Funding

Despite not being at the Statehouse, lawmakers are using portions of the coronavirus hiatus to work on budget plans.

Please contact the following members of the joint House/Senate Education Appropriations committee and tell them:

· Continue to fund the highly successful Student Mental Health School Based Program

· Please appropriate at least $3 million dollars for the program

· Last year the program was funded at $2.1 million and was not enough to provide all the services needed by schools

· Mental health services will be in demand following the virus outbreak and social distancing requirements

Here is the link to the members of the House/Senate Education Appropriations committee.  Click on the name of the lawmaker to obtain their email address, and in many cases their address and telephone number.

https://www.legis.iowa.gov/committees/committee?ga=88&groupID=675


Suspension of the Legislative Session Will Continue

The suspension of the 2020 Session of the Iowa Legislature will now continue until at least April, 30. 

The leaders of the House and Senate have announced that they will reassess the “pause” in action again near the end of the month.

Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver issued the following statement: “The Iowa Legislature continues to follow the guidance of the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health. It is important for us to continue to lead by example and limit the possible spread of this disease,” 

We will keep you updated on plans to return to the Statehouse for the conclusion of the 2020 Legislative Session.


Governor’s 1-Cent Sales Tax Proposal Appears “Dead” For 2020

The major policy proposal of Governor Kim Reynolds appears to be the first major public policy casualty of the pandemic-halted 2020 Session of the Iowa Legislature.

Perry Beaman of the Iowa Capital Dispatch broke the story in the following article:

https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/2020/04/02/iowa-economic-development-director-invest-in-iowa-act-likely-dead-for-this-session/


Bills of Interest:

(SF = Senate File, SSB = Senate Study Bill, HF = House File, HSB = House Study Bill)

SF 2360 (formerly SF 2190 and SSB 3080) - Disruptive Students (M) - The bill does all of the following: a) Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behavior that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty; 2) Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioral intervention strategies; 3) Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP; 4) Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program and appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; 5) Requires the the submission of reports of student violence to the Department of Education and legislature; 6) and protects school employees from charges of “corporal punishment” if they are attacked or defending themselves.

Passed the Senate 50-0.

SF 2331 (formerly SF 2138) - School Employee Protections (M) - The bill provides that a public school official or employee shall not be dismissed, suspended, reassigned or otherwise punished solely for acting to protect a student’s freedom of expression or a student’s first Amendment rights.

On Senate debate calendar

SF 2261 (formerly SF 2100) - School Mental Health via Telehealth (M) - The bill would allow behavioural health services to be offered to students via telehealth at schools.

Approved by the Senate 49-0. Approved by subcommittee

SF 2155 (formerly SF 2065) - School Resource Officer Funding (M) - The bill authorizes school districts to raise additional funds via property taxes and income surtaxes under the instruction support program to fund a school resource officer.

Approved by the Education Committee and referred to Ways and Means Subcommittee: Chapman, Quirmbach and R. Smith

SF 2081 (formerly SSB 3020) - Student ID’s Suicide Prevention Number (F) - The bill requires schools to include the national suicide prevention hotline telephone number on student ID cards.

On Senate debate calendar

HF 2532 (formerly HSB 598) - Disruptive Students (M) - Disruptive Students (M) - The bill does all of the following: a) Provides for the development and distribution of guidelines for schools to use in response to student behaviour that presents an imminent threat of bodily injury to a student or faculty; 2) Requires teacher education programs to include individual education plans (IEP) and positive behavioural intervention strategies; 3) Prohibits the use of “classroom clears” in a student’s IEP; 4) Establishes a Therapeutic Classroom Incentive grant program and appropriates money for student transportation to therapeutic classrooms; 5) Requires the the submission of reports of student violence to the Department of Education and legislature; 6) and protects school employees from charges of “corporal punishment” if they are attacked or defending themselves.

On House debate calendar

HF 2521 (formerly HF 2120) - School Suicide Prevention Program Reporting (F) - The bill would require school districts to report to the Department of Education what types of suicide prevention training they are providing employees

On House debate calendar


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