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Cornfields, Common Sense and Community

March 6, 2020
By State Senator Jeff Edler - R-State Center , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

In The Legislature

This week in the Senate we were finally able to spend more time debating bills on the Senate floor. It was a bit anticlimactic after the crazy pace of the last few weeks. I can assure you that feeling won't last long. In the first few days of debate one thing remains clear, promises are being kept to our constituents.

One of those promises was to fix the funding inequities in education. This week Governor Kim Reynolds signed Senate File 2164, the transportation equity bill. The bill unanimously passed the Senate, completing a promise we made in my first year in the Senate majority to level the playing field for all Iowa students and buy down the transportation cost of every school district to the statewide average.

Article Photos

State Senator Jeff Edler
R-State Center

When rural schools have to spend more on transportation costs for students, less money is available to be spent in the classroom. I am proud of the work that has been done on this bill and I am happy to be see it be signed into law.

Another promise to my constituents was to ensure those most vulnerable Iowans are being cared for and have a pathway for success. One of the bills the Senate passed out this week is Senate File 2272, establishing a real-time verification system for public assistance programs. This bill is crucial in working to eliminate fraud and waste in our welfare system. Just last year, Iowa was fined $1.8 million for overpaying SNAP benefits by $40 million dollars - almost double the national average. Once implemented, we can help ensure assistance is truly going to those who need it most.

Another promise made was to help Iowa educators manage violent student behavior. This week the Senate passed Senate File 2360, an important bill in giving Iowa teachers the tools they need to ensure their classrooms are safe and productive environments for all students and teachers.

This bill provides more training for teachers on violent student behaviors, creates therapeutic classrooms and access to alternative placements for children who may become violent, and also provides protections for teachers who are dealing with violent student behaviors.

Finally, SF 2261 authorizes schools to be acceptable locations for telehealth services. It implements a number of safeguards to ensure quality and confidentiality of the services provided.

I would like to thank all of the constituents who took the time to provide their input on these issues. As we continue to look at upcoming issues such as mental health funding, tax reform, and children's behavioral health, please contact me with your input.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Jeff Edler

641-751-5902

Please feel free to contact me at

Mailing Address:

Jeff Edler

1007 E Grand Ave

Des Moines, IA 50319-1001

jeff.edler@legis.iowa.gov.

 
 
 

 

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