Moore, Shipley talk of active legislative session
Iowa Rep. Tom Moore and State Sen. Tom Shipley are expecting an active legislative session this year. Moore and Shipley took over Montgomery County as part of their legislative districts this session due to redistricting. Moore said the transition from his prior district to this has been fairly simple.
“The transition has been pretty seamless. Probably the most challenging was the election preparation because my number of communities I represented actually increased and the known supporters were non-existent. As per serving new constituents there really was little to no change in the needs, wants and philosophy of the base of my 32,000 constituents. Cass County is the only overlap,” Moore said.
Moore said there are a number of bills he’s sponsoring this legislative session, including HF1, a bill for an act relating to local government funding by modifying school district funding provisions, property assessment provisions, and bond issuance requirements, and including effective date and applicability provisions; HF6, a bill for an act relating to workforce development, including establishing the Iowa workforce grant and incentive program and modifying the responsibilities of the Iowa workforce development board, and HF10, a bill for an act relating to education, including requirements related to mandatory reporters, a process for investigating complaints against licensed practitioners, and the responsibilities of the department of education, school districts, charter schools, accredited nonpublic schools, and the board of educational examiners. A full list of Moore’s sponsored bills can be found at legis.iowa.gov/legislation/findLegislation/findBillBySponsorOrManager?ga=90&pid=17112.
Among all the bills he’s currently sponsoring in the legislature, Moore said there’s one in particular that he’s hoping to see passed by the end of the session.
“My bill on Continuity of Care (HF96) is a bill I have worked on for seven years. To get that finally passed and signed into law would be greatly satisfying. Many of my education bills will aid our schools greatly and I am hoping to get many of those passed,” commented Moore.
Moore was also pleased to announce a new bill boosting Supplemental State Aid had passed through the house and had been signed by the governor.
“HF171 will increase SSA funding by 3%. SSA is the amount of new funding committed by the state to local school districts. Each year, the Legislature is required to set this figure for the next fiscal year within the first 30 days of the legislative session. This is a $106.8 million increase for the 2023 Fiscal Year. It will bring per pupil funding to $7,635 per student. K-12 education funding has increased by almost a billion new dollars over the last 10 years,” Moore advised.
Moore also said he welcomes the chance to hear from constituents on their needs and concerns, and he can be reached at email@example.com.
Like Moore, Sen. Tom Shipley said his transition to serving a new legislative district has been a simple one.
“The transition to the new district has been relatively easy because I was very familiar with the new area and many of the people in it. And certainly the rural areas are very similar to the world I grew up in and live in today. I have four new counties, Montgomery, Page, Taylor, and Ringgold. The ones that carryover are Cass, Adams and part of Union county. It is one of the largest Senate districts in the state,” Shipley stated.
Among the bills Shipley is sponsoring or co-sponsoring this session are SF188, a bill for an act relating to hate crimes, and providing penalties; SF 88, a bill for an act relating to the presence of an illegal drug in a newborn’s body, and providing penalties; and SF108, a bill for an act relating to the employment of unauthorized aliens and providing penalties. The complete list can be found at legis.iowa.gov/committees/subCommitteeAssignments?ga=90&personID=14814&searchType=legislator.
This session, Shipley said he’s primarily focusing on legislation he’s sponsored regarding railroads in an effort to get some necessary changes made.
“I’m working on several bills to deal with railroads and have found several of my colleagues have similar problems with them. My goal is to get them to the table to hear our concerns on everything from crossings to train length. Also, while I’m not sponsoring certain bills, I have been assigned several that I will be advocating for such as a bill to provide legal help in cases involving children,” Shipley explained.
Shipley also offered his own take on the passage of HF171 to boost Supplemental State Aid to schools.
“While I would like to have seen more, it was an increase from the 2.5% that was originally considered. It did include an increase for transportation equity funding which again is important to rural schools,” commented Shipley.
Looking to the future, Shipley said that there was a potential that the current term that he’s serving in the Iowa Senate will be his last.
“I think 12 years will be enough and given the size of my district it’s hard to get around everywhere I need and want to be. I’m not getting younger and while it’s a part time job, it is a full time commitment. If this ends up being my last term, my focus will be the same as when I started. To be a voice for rural issues from hospitals to soil conservation, to local schools and community colleges, to infrastructure to name a few,” Shipley said.
Shipley also welcomes hearing the needs and concerns of his constituents, and he can be contacted at any time.
“The best way for a person to contact me is to email me. They need to make sure they include the town where they get their mail. I get a bunch of emails with no idea where they are from and when that happens given the sheer volume of emails I get they just get deleted. My email is simple to find, firstname.lastname@example.org,” commented Shipley.
Additionally, Moore and Shipley will be back in Montgomery County for another legislative briefing at 8 a.m. March 4th at the Montgomery County Family YMCA.