This week was the legislature’s first “funnel week.” All bills had to be passed out of committee in either the House or Senate to stay alive (unless they are budget or tax bills). Several issues we were following did not clear this hurdle including a bill banning the 1619 project in history curriculum to which we were registered opposed. Additionally, a bill prohibiting off-campus mask requirements also did not clear the hurdle. Several issues remain viable in the form of at least one bill including free speech requirements, tenure, “big tech” contracts, and changes to bond election requirements. See the bill watch for more details. Don’t forget to sign up for next week’s Virtual Community College Day on the Hill! We will have a legislative briefing at 8:30 am and provide talking points and ideas for reaching out to your local legislators. We will have banners from each college in the Rotunda and will encourage legislators to take “selfies” with them and get one of our Community College cookies. We hope to make sure it’s still a day when lawmakers recognize the great work of Iowa’s Community Colleges. Iowa’s Community Colleges have also been working hard to ensure that we have the capacity to test and train the Temporary Nurse Aides approved in the pandemic disaster declaration. These TNAs will need to be certified when the disaster ends. Health coordinators across the state have updated information on how to obtain testing (which can be found here) and are prepared to expand options to accommodate this group and ensure workforce continuity for this important population. Finally, the Governor’s budget bills were released this week. Those reflect what was in her budget priorities document in January.