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Introduction from Executive Director, Emily Shields

This is the first week of extended session (legislator per diems ended last Friday). Negotiations are continuing behind the scenes on tax and budget issues between the House and Senate and a compromise has yet to be reached. The Senate passed HF 744 on college free speech and HF 889 banning COVID vaccine “passports.” The House pass HF 802 on diversity training. All three of these now go to the Governor and she is expected to sign. We are working with an advisory group to provide support to campuses for complying with the free speech law and will also provide guidance on the diversity training law. On Thursday afternoon, the House began debating budget bills and is continuing to do so today. Nearly all budget bills are likely to go to conference committee where compromise will be negotiated over the coming days or weeks. Things are changing quickly, so this information may no longer be accurate by the time you receive it! The IACCT Board met this week and heard a presentation on Iowa Valley’s Gunsmith Technology program. Also this week, Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo is touring the state to learn more about work-based learning efforts. On Tuesday, I joined her for a tour of NIACC and today she is at Iowa Central. Finally, the Community College Council and State Board of Education met this week and considered several items, including the Iowa Community Colleges Certified Budget Report for FY2022 and gave notice of intended action for rules related to Senior Year Plus and Regional Planning Partnerships.

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