Week Nineteen Capitol Report
May 31, 2022
This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee met on Wednesday to consider all eight budget bills. The Senate worked off the House budget bills, except for the Administration and Regulation budget. The committee approved amendments to the Agriculture, Economic Development, Judicial, Justice, and Infrastructure budgets and confirmed the House and Senate chairs agreed upon all approved amendments. The education and health and human services budgets are still being negotiated. The Senate is expected to vote on all budget bills next week. The House will have to vote on the amended budgets following approval from the Senate.
On Tuesday, Governor Reynolds signed the Biofuels Bill. House File 2128 was approved with bipartisan support in the House and Senate. The bill adopts a standard for access to E15 throughout the state. This was one of Governor Reynolds top priorities for the 2022 session.
"I've never been prouder than I am today to be the Governor of the number one ethanol and biodiesel-producing state in the country," said Gov. Reynolds. "Iowa's biofuel production powers our economy and fuels the world, and this historic bill sets the stage for the single largest expansion of biofuels in our state's history. We're sending a message that can't be ignored: America's energy is growing right here in Iowa's fields."
On Wednesday, Governor Reynolds announced a new grant program funded with some of the remaining American Rescue Plan Act funds. The Child Care Business Incentive Grant Program will provide a total of $24 million to child care projects across the state, with $20 million allocated towards supporting local infrastructure investments to build or expand child care capacity and $5 million to support arrangements between employers and child care facilities to expand and reserve slots. The state will begin accepting applications for the grant on June 17th; more information can be found here.
Absentee and early in-person voting for the upcoming primary election began on May 18th. Requests for absentee ballots must be submitted to the county auditor's office by May 23rd; absentee ballot request forms can be found here. Individuals must be registered with a party to vote in the Iowa primaries. Voters can update their voter registration here.
Next week, the House and Senate will begin debate on Monday with hopes of adjourning soon. The House is scheduled to consider the Department of Revenue omnibus bill. All remaining policy priorities and budget bills are currently in the Senate.