Capitol Comments, March 25, 2016

This was the 11th week at the Capitol, with only three and a half more weeks before the end of session. Things have been moving quickly, with six bills passed on Tuesday, and another fourteen passed on Wednesday. Among these bills, the state supplemental aid (SSA) for education funding was pushed through by the majority party. The level that SSA is set at does not provide for our rural schools’ increasing long-distance transportation costs, in addition to other costs that urban districts are responsible for as well. This will place an even greater undue burden on schools that are already doing everything they can to stretch limited resources. The positive news from this is that with education funding set, superintendents will have the information necessary to take these funding levels into consideration for the coming fiscal year.

In addition to setting education funding, the Pharmacy Omnibus bill passed the House unanimously. This bill allows for a telepharmacy to operate, as long as it at least ten miles from an existing pharmacy. By placing this distance requirement on telepharmacy operations, we are ensuring that locally owned businesses are not facing direct competition from telepharmacies, as well as providing extended care for the more rural parts of our district.

It is my honor and a humbling experience to be the State Representative for our community.  I appreciate the messages and correspondence I receive from people in the District.  You can always contact me anytime at bruce.bearinger@legis.iowa.gov or 515-281-3221.

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