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2012 Legislative Report

State Representative
Jobs & Economy Focus of the 2012 Session
Iowa lawmakers wrapped up the 2012 legislative session on May 9th and legislators cited progress to create jobs and grow Iowas skilled workforce as the top accomplishments. Several bi-partisan initiatives to put Iowans back to work were approved by both the House and Senate. Some of the highlights include: a new high quality jobs initiative, expanded training at community colleges, tuition grants for students to fill job openings in shortage areas, and several other bills that will increase the use and production of renewable energy. various tax incentives. The program is designed to help Iowa businesses expand, prevent current businesses from leaving Iowa including manufacturing jobs throughout Sioux City, and encourage new businesses to locate in Iowa. Since its inception, the High Quality Jobs Program has already generated $7.4 billion in capital investment, helped create 13,820 high paying jobs, and produced $2 in tax revenues for every $1 in tax incentives. The Legislature also passed legislation to help Iowa business owners transfer ownership of the business to employees without moving the company out of state, eliminating jobs, or closing down the business altogether. Called Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP), the legislation provides technical support to companies wanting to make the transition to an ESOP and funds for public education on the benefits of organizing as an ESOP.

Job Creation Initiatives The Legislature expanded the High Quality Jobs Program to offer $15 million in direct financial assistance to businesses in addition to

Building a Skilled Workforce With Iowa facing a skilled worker shortage, the Legislature also took action to grow Iowas skilled workforce and ensure every Iowan can get a quality education. The legislature took action to keep tuition affordable at universities and community colleges such as Western Iowa Tech. An education reform initiative was also approved after Legislators worked together across party lines to expand early literacy efforts, personalize student instruction in our schools, and expanded dropout prevention efforts.

Representative Chris Hall welcomed Leroy Jenness, State Sergeant At Arms and National Deputy Chief of Staff for Veterans of Foreign Wars, during Veterans Day on the Hill on January 18th, 2012.

About Chris
Fourth generation resident of

Sioux City; son of Linn and Tina Hall

Works at Western Iowa Tech

Community College
Graduated from North High an additional $1 million is specifically provided for water trails and low head dam safety on our rivers. Since 2006, the Legislature has provided funding to enhance Iowas priority state lake projects that have established watershed improvement initiatives and have community support. This year is no exception with $6 million is provided for lakes restoration to help provide a sustainable, healthy, and functioning lake system.

Protecting Our Natural Resources

With our priority of creating jobs and spurring our economy this legislative session, we also need to attract businesses to Iowa by improving our quality of life and protecting our natural resources. Iowas Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program will receive $12 million next year for projects that enhance our natural, cultural, and recreational resources including environmental education, soil and water enhancement, parks, trails, museums, and roadside beautification. The Legislature continued our commitment to provide $5 million for infrastructure improvements at Iowas state parks, with an additional $3.7 million for operations and maintenance costs. This is an increase of $500,000 from last year with $3 million provided to continue to improve Iowas recreational trail system and

School in Sioux City and Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa

Ranking member of the House

Economic Development budget

Serves on Appropriations,

Economic Growth, Natural Resources, and Transportation committees

Member of the Woodbury

Conservation Foundation, Rotary Club, Farm Bureau, Sioux City Growth Organization, and First Presbyterian Church

Support for Veterans & their Families

Last year, the Iowa National Guard had its largest single deployment since World War II, when nearly 3,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen, or one third of the National Guard force, were deployed to Afghanistan. To help support the returning men and women the Iowa Legislature passed a variety of bills to thank them for their service and ease their transition back into civilian life. Because of high demand, Adjutant General Timothy Orr informed members of the National Guard in December that awards for the spring semester tuition assistance would be cut to 50% of tuition costs, or $1,604, instead of the 90% students received in the first semester. To fix this problem, the Legislature appropriated an additional $1.3 million to bring the amount of assistance back up to 90% of tuition costs. The grant is up to the cost of tuition at one of the state universities and may be used at a state university, community college, or an Iowa private college. To deal with the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in veterans, the Legislature asked the Iowa Veterans Home (IVH) to conduct a study regarding the need for a PTSD dual-diagnosis treatment center at the IVH. The report with recommendations is due to the Legislature and the Governor by January 15, 2013. This year the Legislature expanded the eligibility to Iowas Injured Veterans Grant Program. Under current law, the program is only eligible to members or former members of the U.S. military who are residents of Iowa and were seriously injured in the Iraq or Afghanistan theatre of operation but do not have life threatening injuries. As part of the change, the program will be expanded to include members or former members of the U.S. military who were seriously injured and

Students from Western Iowa Tech Community College visited Representative Hall at the Statehouse during the 2012 Legislative Session. Representative Hall worked to expand workforce training to help community colleges such as Western Iowa Tech partner with local businesses to enhance job growth.

sustained life threatening injuries in the Iraq or Afghanistan theatre of operation. The Iowa Injured Veterans Grant Program provides immediate financial assistance to the veteran so that family members may be with the veteran during recovery and rehabilitation from an injury or illness received in the line of duty in a combat zone or in a designated hostile fire zone.

Reading Comprehension and Early Literacy Efforts

A compromise version of education reform was able to pass the Legislature. The bill allows greater ability for schools to give credit for competency based education, which is one of the newer concepts in teaching that allows students to learn at their own pace and then move on once they have mastered specific concepts and skills. The legislature provided increased resources for literacy efforts and assessments in grades K-3. Strategies would identify and provide evidence-based interventions, beginning in kindergarten, for students at risk of not achieving literacy proficiency. Those students who are not proficient to the degree their grade level requires can opt to take state supported summer courses following the school year. These efforts are paired with the legislature's success in extending class-size reduction block grants. The bill includes four hours of collaboration time per month within professional development to not less than 36 hours per school calendar year to allow more flexibility for districts. More collaboration among teachers is encouraged that gives teachers more feedback from their peers, and raises the standards for teacher preparation programs from 12 weeks to 14 weeks.

State Representative

Greetings, Its an honor to represent you in the Iowa House. I took your ideas with me to the State Capitol and sought principled common ground, in order to do whats best for Sioux City. Out of 100 representatives, I ranked 6th most likely to vote across party lines. I stood up for reduced residential and commercial property taxes, expanding health care to kids, conservation efforts for hunters and landowners, improvements in education, and providing more support to veterans, seniors, and middle class families. This update is designed to inform you of some of the major actions of the 2012 Legislative Session. Of course, this newsletter cannot cover all we did this year so please visit my website for more information. I look forward to hearing from you about the issues you hope the Legislature will address in 2013. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with any problems or concerns you may have.

Chris Hall

Po Box 4579 Sioux City, IA 51104 712-490-2088 (Cell)