Iowa education bills lack overwhelming support in legislature - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa education bills lack overwhelming support in legislature

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - With technically two weeks left in Iowa's 2014 legislative session, some would argue there's still much to check off the to-do list. Out of the bills still alive, some lawmakers say they are shocked education isn't receiving more attention, and funding.

One bill currently in limbo is Senate File 2077/2079: Increase K-12 state aid by 6 percent in fiscal 2016. It cleared the Democratic-controlled Iowa Senate, but has yet to do so in the House. Some House Republicans say they don't want to discuss funding for 2016 until next year, while Gov. Terry Branstad has commented, the state can't afford a six-percent hike.

Some Iowa senators say it's Republicans also not balancing the equation for other education bills, such as Senate File 2347: Senate Education Budget. The legislation appropriates $986 million to Iowa education, an increase of $87 million from last year. It also outlines an increase of $24.6 million for the Board of Regents, which helps fund Iowa's three state universities.

SF 2347 is being debated in the Senate this week, and has not passed in the Iowa House either.

Lawmakers say another factor is the secret settlement scandal currently being dealt with in the Iowa Legislature. Senators say it will likely complicate and slow down the budget process, placing more attention on both where and how dollars are funneled.
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