I was just looking at the calendar and realized next week at this time we’ll be on the eve of Spring Break! Where has this year gone? Before we know it, the year will be wrapped up and we will be moving into our summertime project mode.
Speaking of which, we had our pre-bid meeting with contractors on Tuesday to go over phase one of the elementary renovation project. I was very pleased to see a large number of contractors on hand for this walk-through. Bids are due at noon one week from today, so I am anxious to see how they come in!
Wednesday I was at Hawkeye for our Regional Partnership Planning meeting to discuss and begin planning for the CTE redesign that was enacted into law a year ago. There are still a number of questions and some of the regulations from the DE are a little bit cumbersome, but that is about what we expected!
Today marks the first funnel deadline in the legislature, which basically means that any bill that hasn’t made it out of the committee of origin is effectively dead for the session. That is really good news, but as we all know there are ways to ‘resurrect’ bills since appropriation bills are funnel proof, and sometimes policy proposals are added to appropriations through amendment. Nevertheless, today is an important milestone and we should begin to see the legislature focus on putting the budget together.
The good news is that both bills that we have been watching and working closely on have survived the funnel. HF 178 is the categorical funding bill that provides quite a bit more flexibility within the categorical funding sources and further adds to the list of allowable items. HF 446 has also survived the funnel, which is a bill that permits boards to authorize the transfer of categorical reserve funds to a flex fund to be used for other purposes. There are a few technical issues with this bill that forced IASB to register as opposed, but those issues have been ironed out and when the amended bill is introduced they will change their position to ‘support’. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to give quite a bit of input into these bills. Over the course of the last week I have had several conversations with Representative Rogers and our lobbyists from both IASB and SAI. A hat tip to IASB for helping with the amendment that will only strengthen this bill.