Tom Chapman's News Updates (82)

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, May 22, 2015

The Iowa Senate and House have passed different versions of SF 510, the "standings" appropriations bill. The bill makes adjustments to appropriations that are required by state law.

Regarding an issue of concern to the Iowa Catholic Conference, both versions of SF 510 contain status quo funding of $8.6 million for the transportation of nonpublic school students. If fully funded, the appropriation would be $9.96 million. School districts control how this money is expended either by…

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Added by Tom Chapman on May 22, 2015 at 8:56am — 1 Comment

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, May 18, 2015

Different week – same story. There’s still no deal at the legislature regarding funding for public schools. Republicans have proposed a $100 million increase and the Democrats have proposed a $200 million increase. This disagreement is holding up completion of the state budget.

In the meantime, we have put two new alerts up on our website. As usual, several issues that had been put aside earlier in the session have come back to be…

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Added by Tom Chapman on May 18, 2015 at 9:29am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, May 8, 2015

It was a fairly short but busy week at the capitol as work continued on the state budget along with a few policy items.

There are multiple reports that Democratic and Republican leaders have agreed on the level of increased funding for public schools, called “supplemental state aid.” With this agreement, public schools would receive a 1.25 percent increase as the House suggested, and also receive a one-time payment of $55 million. The one-time payment would not be added to the…

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Added by Tom Chapman on May 8, 2015 at 2:12pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, May 4, 2015

LAST WEEK AT THE CAPITOL

There’s been no visible progress on the standoff over funding for public schools in Iowa. The state spends nearly $3 billion on K-12 education from the general fund. Republicans have proposed about a $100 million increase and the Democrats have proposed  a $210 million increase. This stalemate has made it very difficult for legislators to consider additional assistance for private school parents.

Both chambers have passed the state Department of…

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Added by Tom Chapman on May 4, 2015 at 8:49am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, April 27, 2015

Budget bills are starting to move in the Iowa legislature. The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the Department of Education budget bill later today (Monday). It includes status quo funding of about $650,000 to pay for textbook purchases by nonpublic schools. The bill also allows both public and nonpublic schools additional flexibility in how they spend state funds on preschool. This bill does not provide the state aid for public schools - that comes later in the…

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Added by Tom Chapman on April 26, 2015 at 8:31pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, April 20, 2015

KEEPING AN EYE ON BUDGET BILLS

It looks like the Democrats, who hold the majority in the Iowa Senate, will begin work on budget bills this week. Their proposal would allow for spending from the state’s general fund of about $7.3 billion, the same number as the governor’s budget. The Republican leaders in the House want the state budget to spend no more than about $7.2 billion.

Among the items we are monitoring in the state budget are programs that affect people with low-incomes…

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Added by Tom Chapman on April 19, 2015 at 10:17pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - April 10, 2015

State legislators have not been able to come to an agreement on public school funding levels. This has drastically slowed work on the state budget. Typically, a target date for the end of the session is when the reimbursement of daily expenses for legislators ends - this year on May 1. It seems unlikely that the legislature will be finished by May 1 this year.

On Wednesday the Iowa House passed SF 448 and sent the bill to the governor. The Iowa Catholic Conference had opposed a…

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Added by Tom Chapman on April 10, 2015 at 12:10pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - April 10, 2015

State legislators have not been able to come to an agreement on public school funding levels. This has drastically slowed work on the state budget. Typically, a target date for the end of the session is when the reimbursement of daily expenses for legislators ends - this year on May 1. It seems unlikely that the legislature will be finished by May 1 this year.

On Wednesday the Iowa House passed SF 448 and sent the bill to the governor. The Iowa Catholic Conference had opposed a…

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Added by Tom Chapman on April 10, 2015 at 12:07pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - second legislative deadline, April 6, 2015

The second legislative deadline was Friday. Only bills that have passed a committee in both chambers remain eligible, except for budget- and tax-related legislation. Several bills of interest to the Iowa Catholic Conference died in the “funnel.” Here’s a list, including our position on the bill:

  • HF 573, requiring an ultrasound procedure before an abortion (For). The bill also called for the mother to have an opportunity to view the ultrasound. HF 573 passed the Iowa House last…
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Added by Tom Chapman on April 6, 2015 at 8:57am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - March 30, 2015

Friday is the second “funnel” deadline for non-money related bills to be passed by one chamber and approved by a committee in the other chamber. There’s still time to contact your legislator on some key issues.

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Added by Tom Chapman on March 30, 2015 at 9:04am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, March 22, 2015

Please send a message to your Senator today in support of House File 573. The bill requires that prior to performing an abortion, a physician must certify that the woman has undergone an ultrasound imaging of the baby and that the woman was given the opportunity to view the ultrasound image.

Abortion is a very difficult and personal issue. It is very important that the mother have access to all relevant information…

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Added by Tom Chapman on March 22, 2015 at 12:52pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - March 16, 2015

The Iowa House passed House File 573 last Thursday by a vote of 57-39. The bill requires that prior to performing an abortion, a physician must certify that the woman has undergone an ultrasound imaging of the baby and that the woman was given the opportunity to view the ultrasound image. HF 573 supports an informed consent process for women and would reduce the number of abortions. The bill moves to the Iowa Senate. We’ll have an updated alert soon.

Please…

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Added by Tom Chapman on March 16, 2015 at 9:43am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference, first legislative deadline report, March 7, 2015

Friday was the first “funnel” deadline at the legislature. With exceptions, bills have been voted out of committee by that date to be considered during the rest of the session.

An Education Savings Account bill, House Study Bill 203, did not come up for a vote in the House Education Committee. The chair of the committee chose not to bring it up because of budget concerns. The bill would have provided for Education Savings Accounts starting with kindergarten the first year and adding a…

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Added by Tom Chapman on March 7, 2015 at 12:34pm — 1 Comment

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, March 1, 2015

Welcome to the new members of our legislative network.

It’s shaping up to be an interesting week at the State Capitol. It’s “funnel” week, where non-money bills in the Iowa Legislature are required to pass a committee no later than Friday to remain eligible for consideration.

It’s time to contact your legislator in support of Education Savings Accounts. A subcommittee meeting is scheduled tomorrow (Tuesday) to consider an ESA bill in the Iowa House. Please encourage your…

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Added by Tom Chapman on March 1, 2015 at 11:48am — No Comments

Contact your legislator now

You may have been waiting for the right opportunity to contact your legislators in support of Education Savings Accounts. Now's the time! Go to https://www.votervoice.net/ICC/campaigns/39022/respond



Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) would allow parents who choose not to enroll their children in a public school to receive a deposit of public funds into a savings account set up by the state. This…

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Added by Tom Chapman on February 27, 2015 at 11:33am — 1 Comment

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, Feb. 22, 2015

We’re pleased to report that two of our legislative priorities moved forward last week.

House Study Bill 138, regulating payday loans, was introduced last Monday and passed a subcommittee on Thursday. We support the bill. HSB 138 would help customers avoid the debt cycle by allowing them a 90-day period to pay off the debt without repeat borrowing. Now our job is to convince the House Commerce…

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Added by Tom Chapman on February 22, 2015 at 7:48pm — 1 Comment

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, Feb. 15, 2015

SCHOOL START DATE

You may have been hearing some discussion about a “start date” for Iowa’s public and nonpublic schools. Iowa law requires schools to start no earlier than the week that contains the first day of September. However, for many years the state has allowed schools to get a waiver and pick an earlier date to start school.

Following objections from the tourism industry and the Iowa State Fair, the governor has decided not to allow any waivers. This poses a problem…

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Added by Tom Chapman on February 15, 2015 at 6:31pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, Feb. 8, 2015

LAST WEEK AT THE CAPITOL

The Iowa House Education Committee passed a bill last week to provide additional spending flexibility for community-based preschools, such as Catholic schools, that participate in the state-funded preschool program.  The bill, House File 156, also includes transportation funding provisions to assist public schools. HF 156 is now eligible to be debated on the House floor.

The first subcommittee meeting was held last Thursday for Senate File…

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Added by Tom Chapman on February 8, 2015 at 7:48pm — 2 Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - Feb. 2, 2015

Catholic Schools Week and National School Choice Week were celebrated across the state last week. Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds spoke at a school choice event held at the State Historical Building and Gov. Branstad signed proclamations to mark the events.

In addition, staff from the Iowa Catholic Conference was part of a team of speakers discussing Education Savings Accounts at Davenport Assumption High School last Thursday night. There was a great turnout of nearly 100 people at this…

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Added by Tom Chapman on February 2, 2015 at 10:19am — 1 Comment

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - Jan. 23, 2015

This week is Catholic Schools Week and the Iowa bishops have released a statement in support of Education Savings Accounts. ESAs would allow parents who choose not to enroll their children in a public school to receive a deposit of public funds into a savings account set up by the state. The money could be used for nonpublic school tuition.

“This innovative idea would further level the playing…

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Added by Tom Chapman on January 23, 2015 at 4:24pm — No Comments

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