|Following these storms, Governor Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for most of the counties that received this bad weather. By signing this, qualifying residents may apply for the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program and the Disaster Case Management Program. The grants can be used for home repair, temporary housing expenses, food and clothing replacement, and other disaster-related hardships. More info on the program can be found here: https://hhs.iowa.gov/disaster-assistance-programs
As far as legislative activities went this week, the Senate spent a lot of time working with the House to find agreements on legislation. Once these agreements occur, we will be debating on the floor quite a bit.
A few groups visited the Capitol this week, the first group being FIRST. FIRST helps inspire and educate children on being innovators in technology and robotics. These individuals displayed their technological works for us in the rotunda on Monday, and I was left in awe at the sophistication coming from young students. With the technology industry booming, we need to support our youth who find interest in this field. It is for this reason that SF 398 was passed, which makes school robotics teams a state-sponsored activity, which would mean the Dept. of Education provides support. On Wednesday it was Iowa College Aid Day on the Hill. We met with students seeking post-secondary education and learned more about Iowa College Aid’s mission of making college possible for all.
On Wednesday, I was able to attend the bill signing with Governor Kim Reynolds on SF 514, the state government alignment and reorganization bill. This bill’s aim is to increase the efficiency of state government and cut costs where it can. From estimates provided by the Governor’s office, $200 million will be saved over the next 4 years. This is the first major reorganization of Iowa’s state government in 4 decades. With this being said, I think it is long overdue. While this bill was quite lengthy and intricate, the idea is simple: create a more efficient and less costly state government.