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Capitol highlights

February 6, 2015
By Rep. Tedd Gassman - Representing Iowa House District 7 , Estherville News

This Tuesday we held sub-committee meetings for HF 84, HF 88, and HSB 93. There was good discussion on the benefit of additional funds for transportation to school districts whose transportation costs are higher than the state average, and HF 84 passed sub-committee. It is now up for possible discussion in the Education committee.

HF 88 is a bill in the Labor committee that would further define "occasional work" in child labor laws. Currently, the law does not prohibit a child from any part-time, occasional, or volunteer work for nonprofit organizations generally recognized as educational, charitable, religious, or community service in nature. The problem is that the term "occasional" has not been clearly defined and the interpretation has been inconsistent. HF 88 defines "occasional work" as labor up to 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week for a period of up to 6 weeks. This bill is geared especially towards non-profit Christian camps that hire 14 to 18 year olds during the summer. Currently, the process to hire teen-agers is quite lengthy, and summer camps have asked for occasional work to be defined so that kids can more easily be hired or volunteer at summer camps. There was much discussion on the pros and cons of this bill, and we hope to be holding another sub-committee next week for further discussion.

HSB 93 is a bill in the Environmental Protection committee that would allow yard waste to be delivered to certain landfills that process methane. It passed out of sub-committee and will now be discussed by the entire Environmental Protection committee.

This week, a bill to update various income tax credit extenders passed the Ways and Means committee. This bill is known as the 'coupling' bill, and its purpose is to 'couple' state tax credit extenders with federal code in order to eliminate confusion in the tax return process. This bill will improve tax credits in areas such as Iowa research activities. It will also reduce expenses for teachers, tuition for higher education, mortgage insurance and nontaxable IRA transfers to eligible charities. This bill will also allow small businesses to expense the first $500,000 of equipment costs, which is an important incentive to businesses purchasing necessary equipment to operate.

Rep. Gassman is on the Environmental Protection, Labor, and Local Government Committees, and serves as the Vice Chair of the Education Committee. He also serves on the Administration and Regulation Appropriations Subcommittee.



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