Wulf’s Weekly Roundup: March 13 Edition

Rep. Derek Wulf (R-Hudson),

Last week we entered the debate phase of the session, with bills being sent to theSenate, and few already making it to the Governor’s desk. Ilow House Republicans passed Senate File 75 to establish licensure in Iowa for Rural Emergency Hospitals. This bill was a priority bill for the caucus from day one of the 2023 Legislative Session. A rural emergency hospital is a healthcare facility that maintains a 24-hour emergency room, but does not include acute inpatient care. Establishing licensure in low for this kind of health care facility allows them to be more successful by receiving reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid at a higher rate.

We also passed House File 135 through the Iowa House last week. This bill is aimed at providing more transparency for students at the state’s Regent Universities. The bipartisan bill requires the Board of Regents to publish a report that includes information on income, debt, and post-graduate degree completion by major, institution, and class. This bill will allow students to make informed decisions about their futures

Among several issues that were debated on the House Floor last week, I ran HF335 which relates to restricted commercial drivers licenses for certain persons employed in designated farm-related service industries. The advantage of getting a restricted CDL is that a CDL knowledge or skills test is not required. The restricted CDL is valid for 210 days and 150 miles from the farm or ag supplier being serviced.

This is especially beneficial to the low Agriculture industry during the peak planting and harvest seasons when more drivers are needed to move our state’s precious agriculture commodities. This is a good bill for farmers, a good bill for the ag industry, and a good bill for the trucking industry.

The economic plan of cutting taxes in the 2022 tax reform law has taken place, yet tax collections in 2023 have risen by 5.7% compared to last February with additional revenue generated at $35.7 million. So, low is well ahead of the 1.9% reduction forecasted by the Revenue Estimating Conference. The tax reform projected to lower lowans tax liability by $50 million in February. It’s important to note the personal income tax payments only fell by $18.3 million which means our state’s economic performance continues to do well.

I am also proud to report to the people of District 76 the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced that the Office has awarded 28 Choose lowa Grants totaling $463,000. The idea behind the Choose Iowa grants is to support small business, low’s farmers and nonprofits to diversify their product offerings, expand markets and shorten our supply chains. Grants will support a variety of projects including cider production from lowa grown apples fruit and vegetable processing, cold storage for meat, expanded processing of dairy products, Iowa grown flowers, and more. Please refer to IDALS with more information: https://iowaagriculture.gov/news

As I wrap up the Wulf’s Weekly Roundup From Capitol Hill, a warm Iowa House welcome was offered for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and the Mid Iowa Youth Beef Team in honor of cattlemen at the Capitol Day last week. I was proud to stand in front of my House colleagues offering the prayer and watching my daughters stand and give the Pledge of Allegiance. Our foundation of America’s pride started off with our hands over heart, as we trust our Nation’s Motto, “In God We Trust.”

Rep. Wulf’s district, Iowa House District 76, includes the communities of Traer, Dysart, and Buckingham in Tama County. He can be reached via email: derek.wulf@legis.iowa.gov.