Focus on education funding, foreign trade
We’ve hit our stride at the end of week three of the 2013 legislative session. Committee work, bill drafting, issue briefings, and constituent visits keep me and my fellow legislators busy during the session start-up.
Our first order of business this year should be to set the rate for school funding. Called allowable growth, the Legislature is mandated by code to set the rate 30 days after the Governor releases the budget. This gives schools about 18 months advance notice concerning what state funds they will receive. Then local school boards begin to set their budgets.
Last session, we should have set the allowable growth rate for the school year that will begin in August 2013. While the Senate passed a bill, the house majority and Governor Branstad refused to bring it up. Without cooperation this year, local schools face even greater challenges.
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