How the world can change in just one week.
On Sunday, March 15 in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Iowa Senate and House jointly announced that it would suspend the 2020 Session for a minimum of 30 days. The decision was made in consultation with the Department of Public Health and the Governor’s office following the announcement of COVID-19 “community spread” in Iowa. The Legislature is following recommendations from the Center for Disease Control related to mass gatherings to protect vulnerable populations. IACCT Legislative Consultant Dave Palmer: (515) 240-9155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following that announcement, the Legislature passed legislation SF2408 that creates emergency measures and supplemental appropriations for key government services to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Supplemental appropriations for Medicaid ($88.98 million)
Supplemental appropriations other health programs ($1.8 million)
Supplemental appropriations for state hygienic lab ($525,000)
Limits some standing appropriations (non-public school transportation, instructional support, AEA funding)
Requires Department of Management (DOM) and the Legislative Services Agency (LSA) to review FY2020 appropriations and to make appropriations for the first two months of FY2021
Transfers: Includes exemptions from transfer rules
Emergency Economic Fund (EEF): Makes emergency appropriations from the EEF of up to 10% to the DOM for purposes approved by the Governor through August 31 this year. Includes various repeal dates.
Schools: Authorizes the Governor to waive school instructional time requirements for schools that close due to the COVID-19.
IACCT staff and the Presidents have been meeting with a variety of state and national groups to address the needs of our students, as well to gain clarification and exemptions from a variety of regulations so that when services are resumed (whether online or in person), we can still be in compliance. We hope that guidance will be arriving in the next few days.
Bills of Interest
As a result of the Iowa Legislature suspending the session for 30-days, there is no new activity to report on any bills.
One More Thing
Here is something to look forward to in late April.
If you are looking for a way to get out of the house but still avoid crowds, find your favorite spot for stargazing and mark your calendars for the night of April 21-22. One of the best ways to welcome Spring is to plan to watch the Lyrid meteor shower in Iowa. This year the New Moon will make for some of the darkest skies around. It is predicted that surges of up to 100 meteors per hour will light up the Iowa skies.
IACCT Legislative Consultant Laurie Wolf email@example.com.