Sweeney from the Iowa Senate: Week 5

Sen. Sweeney.

The first deadline of the year was this week called “funnel” week. We worked to get important legislation through the first hurdle. This also meant we covered a wide range of issues while we worked towards our deadline.

I have had several conversations in person and on the phone about the AEAs. I am so impressed with the Superintendents, Principals, and school board that have stayed in constant contact with me on this Senate Study Bill.

The idea from the very beginning of this legislation, goal is to help students with disabilities and ensure they are getting the help they need and the help they deserve.

Under the bill, as amended in the Senate Education Committee, AEAs will still be able to provide schools with the same services they do now.

The bill also requires the Department of Education’s special education division to oversee AEA operations ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state laws related to special education and provide guidance and standards.

As we have said before, the goal is to help students with disabilities and ensure they are getting the help and support they need to succeed, and the focus will remain on that goal as we continue working on this important legislation.

Being contacted by young farmers and ranchers moving back to our area informing me about nongovernment agencies outbidding them for property is an issue I have been working on for many years. Refer here for the bill by the IDNR: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ba=SSB3129&ga=90. Right now, in rules, the IDNR canNOT purchase property at an auction. This bill codifies the IDNR practice. It in NO WAY stands in the way of donated property. Anyone can donate their property to anyone they want. The bill states that if the nongovernment agency acquired the property at an auction they cannot sell it to the IDNR.

State Senator Annette Sweeney represents Iowa Senate District 27 which covers Grundy, Tama, Hardin, and Poweshiek counties. Contact Sen. Sweeney at annette.sweeney@legis.iowa.gov.