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Week Ten

Following the second funnel of the legislative session, week ten no longer involves regular committee meetings. Committees still meeting include Appropriations and Ways & Means. The majority of our time now consists of floor debate and working on bills sent to us from the Senate.

Child Care Assistance Program

This week we passed Senate File 2251 out of the House. This bill relates to the Child Care Assistance program, creating a pilot project in four counties, Hamilton, Lee, Pottawattamie and Scott. To qualify for the program, families’ incomes have to be at or below 145 percent of the federal poverty level, and go to school or work a combined 28 hours a week.

In 2015, the Department of Human Services will report to the governor and the legislature to discuss the program. The review of the program will also include more fiscal reports. If the program goes successfully and shows a positive impact for struggling Iowa families, this program will be considered for statewide availability.

In sticking with responsible budgeting practices, reviewing this program, and others similar to it, will help give insight to potential successes or downfalls before implementing full-blown programs. As this pilot program is implemented in Hamilton County, I look forward to closely watching over it.

Around the Capitol

Rural Electric Cooperatives from across the state convened at the Statehouse to share with us what they have been working on. I had the pleasure of meeting with Jo Ann Neppel and Jack Runge; we discussed the investments Midland Power Cooperative has made in our communities. Linn Country REC also brought along Chip, the LED kid, to help spread its message.

As always, feel free to contact me at rob.bacon@legis.iowa.gov.

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