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Capitol highlights

February 20, 2015
By Rep. Tedd Gassman - Representing Iowa House District 7 , Estherville News

Last week the school start date bill passed the Education Committee with an amendment setting the school start date at no earlier than Aug. 23. Now it could be considered on the House Floor.

A bill has been introduced in the House that would require owners of tanning facilities to refuse service to individuals under the age of 18. Supporters of the bill justify it under the premise of protecting young people from the harmful effects of UV rays which are used in tanning beds. Those who oppose this bill argue that this is too much government control and the use of tanning facilities should be left up to the discretion of the individual and their parents. I am undecided on this issue at this point, and I would love to hear the perspectives of my constituents.

The Gas Tax is still under consideration in the House to raise the fuel tax by ten cents. Included in the bill is an increased permit fee for over-wide and over-weight equipment. These increases are not the most desirable but they are a compromise from what was originally proposed. Originally, the fees were going to increase multiple times, including one next year. However, the bill has been changed so that this permit fee is the only increase that will occur. There is also a biodiesel component to the bill that would grant a three cent discount only for B-11 or greater under certain circumstances. I disagree with this portion because I believe that if we are going to levy a tax, everyone should pay it. Also, the bill will restrict the use of the new money to pay off bonded debt. Aviation fuel will also be increased by two cents also as a result of the bill. There will be no tax on dyed fuel. 100% of the revenue raised by this tax will go to repair the roads and bridges of our state.

I appreciate your support and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.



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