Bergan Report

By: News Release
Feb 8th, 2019

February 7, 2019
Greetings from the State House
    Last week Harry Merz completed his internship in the Iowa House.  A Luther College junior, Harry spent his J-term in Des Moines learning about legislative process.  As an international student from New Zealand, it was a positive experience for House members and clerks in contrasting the differing cultures.

Committee work is the focus in the House this week.  Bills are assigned to sub-committee and moved on for committee consideration.  I have been assigned to 18 subcommittees at this point.  The subcommittee takes public comment on bills and works through initial amendments to the bills for the committee to consider.

Education funding has been a major focus this week as the legislature works to set additional K-12 school funding in the first 30 days of session.  
Building on our past commitment, this week House and Senate leaders announced an agreement on a K-12 funding package for the 2019-20 school year of $100 million.

The agreement includes an additional $89.3 million in new funding for Iowa’s K-12 schools.  $7.8 million additional funding to reduce transportation costs for rural schools will ensure more dollars make their way into the classroom.  $2.9 million is allocated to reduce the cost per pupil gap by $5 per student.  This continues to reduce a long-time inequity that has existed in the school funding formula since the 1970s.

The House is planning to debate this K-12 package on the floor next week.  Once this package is passed, state investment in K-12 education will top $3.3 billion per year.

    A bill to make changes in judicial selection has been filed in the House, HSB 110, with a companion bill in the Senate.  I am reviewing the bill and attending a forum sponsored by the Iowa State Bar Association to evaluate our current system and the merits of the changes proposed.

I will be attending legislative forums on Saturday, February 16 at 9 am in Arlington at the community center and 11:15 am in Waukon at the Farm Bureau Building.  I appreciate the effort local Farm Bureau members have put in to make this meeting available to their members and the public.

Very truly yours,
Representative Michael Bergan
House District 55, portions of Clayton, Fayette, and Winneshiek Counties