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This Week in the Senate by Senator Shawn Hamerlinck PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Civic News & Info
Written by Shawn Hamerlinck   
Monday, 06 February 2012 09:08

February 3, 2012

On Wednesday the Senate Education Committee passed a bill to approve a 4% allowable growth for schools.  This would be an increase of $146.2 million, pushing total state expenditures on K-12 education to $2.66 billion.  There is no doubt K-12 education needs more resources however, politicians are confused on the definition of “resource.”  Where Iowa once set the national standard, student achievement scores have continually slipped over the past twenty years and now we are below the national average.  We continually hear the mantra that more money will solve the problem.  There are many more aspects than money at play.  Parts of the governor’s education reform package have merit.  The question is if we can get any part of it to move through the Senate.

On Wednesday the Senate Natural Resources Committee passed a bill requiring all deer stands to be tagged with the owners name, address and hunter’s license number.  Supporters argued it was done to curb poaching.  Logical thought would say, people who poach probably won’t put their name on the equipment they use to poach.

The Iowa House issued their budget targets for the 2013 fiscal year.  Total expenditures are projected to be roughly $100 million more than last year and $190 million less than the governor’s budget.  This budget suggests the Economic Emergency Fund ($350 million), Cash Reserve Levy ($600 million), and Taxpayer Relief Fund ($60 million) accounts will all be full.  Also, it projects an ending balance of $285 million.  The fiscal health of our state is very strong as many of our neighbors look at Iowa with envy.

On Tuesday Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn stepped down.  Chairman Strawn was successful in pushing the Iowa GOP to campaign and issue successes it hasn’t seen in twenty years.  Though now may be the time for transition and new leadership, I wish the Republican Party the best of luck in trying to replace him.

I always welcome your opinions, thoughts and ideas. 

Thank you for letting me serve as your voice in the Capitol.

Thank you for letting me represent the 42nd District.
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Shawn Hamerlinck
State Senator

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