Bergan Report

Greetings from the State House,

This week the House debated several bills on the floor. Many of the bills found strong bipartisan support. Action included six bills of significance that address a shared priority to support child care options across Iowa. I floor managed two of the thirty-three bills debated during the week.

The week started off with a group of students from the Elkader area visiting the Capitol. Central Community FFA members were accompanied by their advisor Mrs. Bond and student teacher Mr. Spain. The group met with Rep. Anne Osmundson and me in the House chamber, then I accompanied the group on an extended dome tour. The group then met with Senator Mike Klimesh before taking a guided tour of the Capitol. I welcome visits from constituents at the Capitol. Kindly contact me ahead of time, if you are planning a visit.

The House adopted six bills this week to meet child care needs in Iowa. The bills address the issue from a variety of directions. Rep. Jane Bloomingdale floor managed two bills, the first, HF 230, increased the tax credit a parent can claim for child care expenses paid. The second bill, HF 370, provides a tax credit for businesses that support child care for the employees, helping to build a public private partnership in support of child care in communities. HF 260 addresses the care of 6 or fewer children in a home setting. HF292 and HF302 make important changes to Child Care Assistance to low income families who are working or attending school. The rates are increased to the 50th percentile of the recent Market Rate Survey. Secondly, the child care cliff effect is addressed by increasing eligibility to families with higher incomes, but with a co-payment schedule to provide an “off ramp” to the assistance as family income rises. Finally, provisions are made to support a funding match program that will address child care staff wages and support of continuing education and a career pathway in early childhood education.

I floor managed debate on HF391 (formerly HSB 74), a bill that updates our Iowa Code to conform with the specific chemical designations of controlled substances in Federal regulations. It included adding 14 substances to the opiates category, and marijuana extract, synthetic cathinone, and 21 other substances to the hallucinogenic category. The second bill, HF368, transferred administration of a rent reimbursement program from Department of Revenue to the Department of Human Services. The change was proposed through agreement reached between both department directors in that the program could be more effectively administered for eligible Iowans by the Department of Human Services. The change will take place no later than January 1, 2023. Both measures passed with strong bipartisan support and have been sent on to the Senate for consideration.

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