Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
To the People of House District 95
By State Rep. Taylor Collins
Feb. 23, 2023 9:50 am
We're now wrapping up the sixth week of the legislative session in Des Moines and we are quickly approaching the first legislative funnel. The funnel deadline is one that requires a bill to be passed out of committee in order to be considered yet this session. The only exception to this are bills related to taxes and the state budget.
Fighting the WOKE Agenda
This week the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee hosted the President's of Iowa's three public universities. The Education Appropriations Subcommittee is the panel charged with determining how much money to give to our three public universities for each fiscal year. As a member of this committee, I had many questions for the Presidents, mostly regarding how they continue to blow through taxpayer dollars when it comes to administrative costs at their institutions. Most alarming though, and something that I was able to confirm with each of them at the hearing, was the salaries of just four of the top DEI (Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion) posts on campus. Below is a list of these positions and their annual salaries:
• University of Iowa Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: $255,000 a year.
• Iowa State Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: $247,000 a year.
• University of Northern Iowa Chief Diversity Officer AND Director for Diversity, Inclusion & Social Justice: over $200,000 a year combined.
This hearing received widespread coverage in the media just due to the nature of my questions, but the point of them was the fact that these costs continue to be passed onto students in the form of higher tuition costs, and increased students fees. This is unacceptable, and all options remain on the table to control these rising costs, and ensure Iowans tax dollars are not being used to push the WOKE agenda.
Protect Children, Support Parents — Education Committee Prohibits Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Instruction in K-6
Yesterday the House Education Committee, which I also serve on, passed a bill that does not allow gender identity and sexual orientation instruction to be taught to kindergarten through sixth grade students. Gender identity means a gender-related identity of a person, regardless of the person’s assigned sex at birth. Sexual orientation means actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.
This means that all instruction regarding human growth and development not only has to be age-appropriate and research-based, but also cannot include promotion or instruction on these topics. Children in these grades should be focused on curriculum and instruction in math, science, language arts and history. There is no compelling reason young children should have class time spent on gender identity and sexual orientation instead of core academic subjects.
Transparency for Temp Staffing Agencies in Health Care
This week, the House Health and Human Services Committee unanimously passed House Study Bill 24 to ensure that Iowa’s taxpayer funds are not being gouged by temporary staffing agencies charging health care entities unnecessarily high costs. This bill ensures that temporary nursing staffing agencies (registered nurses, LPNs, CNAs, etc.) are the target of the requirements described below.
This bill helps provide transparency in pricing by requiring these temp nursing agencies report quarterly a detailed list of the average amount charged to the health care entity for each agency worker category, and average amount paid by the agency to the agency workers for each worker category. The bill also requires these health care employment agencies to register with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, and requires DIA to investigate complaints against these agencies. Most importantly, this bill requires agency workers to be qualified and meet health regulation requirements for the health care setting they are working in. Lastly, this bill prohibits non-competes, as it has been seen that these agencies are using these for even CNA positions.
House Ways and Means Passes Increase to Adoption Tax Credit
This week the House Ways and Means Committee passed House File 67 which phases in an increase in the adoption tax credit. Currently, the adoption tax credit equals the amount of qualified adoption expenses paid or incurred by the taxpayer in connection with the adoption of a child, not to exceed $5,000 per adoption. Adoption costs are varied by adoptive parents can usually expect costs somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000. Those costs include attorney’s fees, home study costs, application fees, and background check and fingerprinting fees.
House File 67 phases in an increase to the maximum amount of the adoption tax credit as follows:
• For the tax year beginning Jan. 1, 2024, $7,500 per adoption
• For tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2025, $10,000 per adoption.
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