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Iowa House Republican Caucus Newsletter 4-11-20131

Iowa House Republican Caucus Newsletter 4-11-20131

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Published by Shane Vander Hart
This is the weekly newsletter published by the Iowa House Republican Caucus staff.
This is the weekly newsletter published by the Iowa House Republican Caucus staff.

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Published by: Shane Vander Hart on Apr 11, 2013
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04/11/2013

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Inside this issue:
 Appropriations 2 Agriculture 2Commerce 4Economic Growth 4Education 4EnvironmentalProtection6Human Resources 7Judiciary 8Natural Resources 8State Government 9Transportation 9Veterans Affairs 9Ways and Means 10
Thursday, April 11, 2013
www.iowahouserepublicans.com
Compromise on EducationReform
In an effort to come to resolution on theeducation reform plan which is currentlybefore a House and Senate ConferenceCommittee, House Republicans offered acompromise. The plan saves taxpayer money, allows schools to plan ahead for the long term, and implements policychanges focused on achievement-drivenreforms.House Education Committee Chairman,Rep. Ron Jorgensen (R-Sioux City) of-fered the compromise plan during theconference committee. The details in-clude:
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Keep intact policy language andappropriations for House File 215.
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2 percent increase in allowablegrowth for Fiscal Year 2014, plus aone-time payment equivalent to 2percent allowable growth.
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4 percent increase in allowablegrowth for Fiscal Year 2015.This compromise plan offers flexibility for school districts, accountability for parentsand protection for taxpayers. HouseRepublicans are hopeful that the SenateDemocrats will take our compromiseunder serious consideration and we canresolve this issue as soon as possible.The House previously passed $87.5 mil-lion in Fiscal Year 2014 and $119.3 mil-lion in Fiscal Year 2015. The Senateoriginally passed $135 million in FiscalYear 2014 and $305 million in FiscalYear 2015. The House compromise planis $144.7 million in Fiscal Year 2014 and$195 million in Fiscal Year 2015.
Moving a Responsible StateBudget 
Two years ago, Iowa faced a $900 mil-lion budget shortfall. Today, we have anending balance of $688 million and our budget reserves are full. This is a funda-mental change in legislative decisionmaking, driven by Iowans. This is a sig-nificant departure from how governmentoperated in the past where every dollar was spent, even some we didn’t have.House Republicans have instilled a fun-damental culture change and we will notretreat now. As we begin moving budgetbills through the House, we will remaincommitted to the principles used to getour fiscal house in order:
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We will not spend more money thanthe state takes in;
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We will not use one-time money topay for on-going expenses;
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We will not intentionally underfundentitlement programs to balance thestate’s budget;
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We will return unused tax dollars toIowa’s taxpayers.The overall amount of revenue that isavailable to be spent in Fiscal Year 2014is $7.1822 billion. This amount includesthe $688.1 million in the ending balancethat is an overpayment by Iowa taxpay-ers. The amount of ongoing revenuethat is available is $6.5377 billion. TheFiscal Year 2014 proposal by HouseRepublicans spends $6.4139 billion.This is a 3 percent increase over lastyear’s spending level and it protects pri-ority services in the areas of education,health and human services and publicsafety.The House Republican budget spends98 cents for every dollar of state reve-nue.
 
House Republican Talking Points
 
Page 2
House Republican Newsletter On Monday April 8, 2013, the Iowa Depart-ment of Agriculture and Land Stewardshipissued a press release in which Iowa Sec-retary of Agriculture Bill Northey an-nounced that retail and wholesale distribu-tors of fuels interested in installing newequipment to handle the distribution of higher blends of ethanol and biodieselshould consider applying for assistancethrough the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infra-structure Program. Applications must bereceived by April 30 to be considered at theMay 14 meeting of the Iowa RenewableFuels Infrastructure Board, which approvesall applications.The program has cost-share funds availa-ble to cover up to 70 percent of the cost of 
IDALS Announces Cost Share Assistance Available Through Renewable FuelsInfrastructure Program
Agriculture
(Contact Lew Olson at 1-3096.)
 
General Assembly Gives Final Okay to Two Ag Measures
On Monday, April 8, 2013 and on April 9,2013, final legislative consideration wasgiven to two agricultural measures whenSF 316 passed the House by a unanimous98-aye vote and when HF 312 was ap-proved by the Senate on a unanimous 49-aye vote respectively. SF 316 tweaks ex-isting state farm tenancy law to requiretermination notice of all cropped farmlandnot operated under a cost-share agreementregardless of farm parcel tract size be pro-vided in writing by September 1st of a year if the land will not be leased to the currentfarm tenant for the next crop year and theexisting contract didn’t specify a termina-tion date of the agreement. Existing lawexempted tracts of 40-acres of less. Thebill does however still exempt tracts of lessthan 40-acres of farmland leased for pri-marily animal feeding operation purposesfrom the general notification provisions.The other agricultural bill that got a finallegislative consideration was House File312 which the Senate passed on Tuesdayby a unanimous 49-aye vote. HF 312amends the existing Code language requir-ing DNR to establish certification standardsfor manure applicators to expand the scopeof such education/“continuing education” toadditionally include topics that emphasizepractical and cost-effective methods toprevent manure spills and limit the impactof manure spills. The bill instructs DNR toprovide that the continuing instructionalcourse be made available via the DNR’sinternet site, the internet site of an instruc-tor teaching this course, and/or ISU exten-sion’s internet site and be available to per-sons required by DNR to take such instruc-tion for certification of manure applicator.HF 312’s online manure applicator certifica-tion provisions are contingent on the legis-lature providing DNR with the estimated$250,000 needed to develop and put thiseducational material online.
Appropriations
(Contact Brad Trow at 1-3471.)
 
Growth in Medicaid Threatens Education Funding, Rest of State Budget
 As Iowans discuss the issue of Medicaidexpansion, a number of topics have arisenin the conversations. But one critical issuehas yet to be addressed – Medicaid’s long-term impact on the state budget and Iowa’sability to fund our education system.From Fiscal Year 2000 to Fiscal Year 2012,state funding for K-12 education grew by atotal of $810 million. During the same peri-od, the state’s share of Medicaid costs grewby $674 million. That might seem like not areason for concern today while Iowa is ex-periencing strong state revenue growth.But in FY 2000, the state budget was$4.764 billion, the state spent $1.7 billion onK-12 school aid and just $445 million onMedicaid. In FY 2012, the state budget was$6.012 billion, K-12 education received $2.5billion, and the state’s share of Medicaidhad grown to $1.12 billion.The growth in Medicaid can be seen in theaverage annual growth. While schoolspending has averaged an annual growthrate of 3.58 percent between FY 2000 andFY 2012, the state’s share of Medicaidcosts has grown by 8.08 percent annually.Growth in the Medicaid program has re-cently been compounded by the shift in thefederal Medicaid match rate. Thatmeasures states against each other, andplaces a higher cost burden on states withstronger economies. Because of the state’sstrong agricultural economy over the pastfew years, Iowa’s share of Medicaid ex-penses have grown significantly. BetweenFY 2010 and FY 2014, the amount of Medi-caid costs that has been shifted to the stateis nearly $200 million. By comparison, thatis more than what the state spends on IowaState University’s General appropriation or Community College funding in the Educa-tion budget.Even before any consideration of MedicaidExpansion occurred, there was growingconcern that Medicaid has the potential toconsume all growth in state revenue in thevery near future. For FY 2015, the state isalready expecting another significant shift inMedicaid costs to the state thanks to theMedicaid Match rate.Then there is the impact of provisions in thePersonal Protection and Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare) thatthe state is required to implement. Thou-sands of Iowans currently eligible for Medi-caid but not currently enrolled will join theprogram as the personal mandate goes intoeffect in 2014. And Congress raised prima-ry care reimbursement rates for Medicaid tothe Medicare level for 2 years. After that,primary care providers will expect states toreplace the short term federal money thatwas provided.It is possible in the next five years that thestate will reach a point where all new reve-nue will be required to fund the growth in just one program – Medicaid. That potentialshould make Iowans involved in education,public safety, economic development or anyother state program to think twice aboutcalling for Medicaid expansion.
 
Page 3
House Republican Newsletter converting old equipment, such as under-ground tanks or retail pumps, to new equip-ment designed to handle higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel. Grants to retail dis-tributors are limited to a maximum of $50,000 per project and retailers mustcommit to selling renewable fuels for atleast five years. Smaller grants of $30,000are available for those only making a threeyear commitment. Wholesale fuel distribu-tors are also eligible for grants to offset thecost of new bulk storage and distributionequipment that can be used with higher blends of renewable fuels. Up to $100,000is available, but requires a 50 percentmatch by company and a five-year commit-ment to handling renewable fuels.The Iowa Legislature provided $3 million tothe program for fiscal 2013 and nearly $1million remains for this final applicationperiod. Funds not awarded this year canbe carried into the next fiscal year. Allgrant applications must be approved by theRenewable Fuels InfrastructureBoard. The board contains eleven mem-bers who are appointed by the Governor.More information about the program, in-cluding guidelines and application forms,are available atwww.IowaAgriculture.gov by clicking on the “Renewable Fuels Infra-structure Program” link under “Hot Topics.”The Iowa Legislature gave responsibility for the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Pro-gram to the Iowa Department of Agricultureand Land Stewardship in 2011.
(Continued from page 2)
On Tuesday, April 2, 2013, the Iowa De-partment of Agriculture and Land Steward-ship issued a press release in which IowaSecretary of Agriculture Bill Northey en-couraged Iowa farmers to consider partici-pating in the Smithsonian’s National Muse-um of American History’s Agricultural Inno-vation and Heritage Archive. The Smith-sonian announced the initiative last monthto preserve and document the nationalagricultural heritage and farm innova-tion. The full release from the Smithsonianon the project follows Northey’squote. More information can be found athttp://americanhistory.si.edu/agheritage.The Smithsonian press release followshere:
National Museum of American HistoryAnnounces Initiative to PreserveAgricultural Heritage and DocumentFarm Innovation
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of  American History unveiled a new websitewhere the public can upload stories abouttechnologies and innovation that havechanged their work lives in agriculture—stories about precision farming, food-borneillness tracking, environmental concerns,government practices, irrigation, biotech-nology and hybrid seeds. This spring, themuseum is launching the Agricultural Inno-vation and Heritage Archive, reaching outto farmers, ranchers and American agri-business to preserve America’s agriculturalheritage and build a collection that reflectsmodern agricultural practices. Curators areseeking stories, photographs and ephem-era to record and preserve the innovationsand experiences of farming and ranching.For details and to participate, the publicmay visithttp://americanenterprise.si.edu.   As an example of the agriculture stories theSmithsonian is seeking, the museum willaccept a donation of road signs related tono-till production and organic farming fromJim Rapp, a corn and soybean farmer fromPrinceton, Ill. “The story of agriculture isimportant and complex,” said John Gray,director of the museum. “In Jefferson’stime, 96 percent of Americans were farm-ers; today, that number is less than 2 per-cent. Despite this drop, productivity hasskyrocketed and agriculture has evolvedinto a technology-driven profession with thecab of a tractor akin to a traditional CEO’soffice.” This new collection of stories, pho-tos and objects will play a role in the“American Enterprise” exhibition, an 8,000-square-foot multimedia experience that willimmerse visitors in the dramatic arc of thenation’s story, focusing on the role of busi-ness and innovation in the United Statesfrom the mid-1700s to the present. Theexhibition is scheduled to open in May2015.The American Enterprise project budget is$20 million, which includes the exhibition, avirtual exhibition on the Web, a rich array of programs and demonstrations as well asan endowment for a Curator of AmericanBusiness. Recent gifts in support of the“American Enterprise” exhibition include a$2 million gift from Monsanto Company anda $1 million gift from the United SoybeanBoard. “American agriculture has gonethrough a tremendous transformation in thepast seven decades, becoming a high-techindustry, deeply affecting not just farmersthemselves but every American and the American experience in general,” said Pe-ter Liebhold, curator and chair, Division of Work and Industry.The exhibition will tell the story of the na-tion’s business, centering on themes of opportunity, innovation, competition andcommon good with examples drawn fromfive areas: agriculture, consumer finance,information technology/communication,manufacturing and retail/service. Chrono-logical in organization, “American Enter-prise” will use objects, graphics and inter-actives to examine how the United Statesmoved from a small dependent nation toone of the world’s most vibrant and trend-setting economies. Visitors will explore thedevelopment of American agriculturethrough objects such as Eli Whitney’s cot-ton gin, a 1920s Fordson tractor and an Agacetus gene gun, which represent ma-chines and innovation that increasedproductivity and science that gave insightto the genetic structure of plants. Agricul-ture has employed science and technologyto dramatically increase production andchoice while lowering prices, but thesechanges have also altered the experienceof farmers and the public in unexpectedways.The initial objects donated to the Agricultur-al Innovation and Heritage Archive project
IDALS Secretary Northey Encourages Farmers to Participate in SmithsonianNational Museum of American History Agricultural Archive Initiative

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