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House Study Bill 17 Is Moving On

Today I had the experience of chairing an Education subcommittee for House Study Bill 17. Basically, this bill makes it mandatory for reporting of licensed school employees who are under the influence of, possessing, using, or consuming illegal drugs, unauthorized drugs, or alcohol on or at a school activity. This must be reported by different school officials, including superintendents to the Board of Educational Examiners.

There were a few groups registered in support of this bill, none against it and multiple that were undecided. After the meeting, it seemed we had come together on an agreement in referring this bill to the Education Committee with one change: specifying what “unauthorized drugs” meant. We will add the definition to this bill as an amendment and allow it to move to its next phase. I think it’s important to send the message that being under the influence of drugs or alcohol on school premises or at a school activity sets a bad example for students and should not be tolerated and needs to be reported.

Overall, it was a great first experience and I’m thankful to Representatives Hager and Gaines for their help with this. It passed 3-0!

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Speaking Over the Weekend

This weekend I had the opportunity to speak to a group of Sioux County Farm Bureau members and to my church. Here are some highlights from the speeches:

FARM BUREAU:

Saturday morning I spoke about Coupling with Section 179, water quality and the EPA. For Coupling with Section 179, I let the members know I’m a supporter but that this year it’s looking like it won’t happen due to our manageable budget shortfall of $117 million. I will push next year to Couple with Sect. 179 (benefits farmers, manufacturers and small businesses especially).

On water quality, I let them know that we (House Republicans specifically) have this as a top priority. The Farm Bureau supports what the House passed last year (provides a funding stream of about $478 million dollars over 12 years using money from a water-metering tax as well as some RIIF money) to help fund water quality projects. We haven’t dug into the weeds on water quality yet, but I imagine this may come up again this year.

I also mentioned my bill for nullification of the EPA. The EPA is not an enumerated power by the Constitution. I won’t get into too much detail on this yet as I hope to have it filed this week.

CHURCH

I listened to one of the most convicting sermons and the most powerful pro-life sermon I have heard yet this morning from Pastor Ryan Perz. Unfortunately for my church, Pastor Ryan allowed me to speak on pro-life legislation, and I did this having been fired up from his sermon.

I mentioned the need for conservatives to speak up, echoed Pastor Ryan’s plea for a pro-life group to rise up in Northwest Iowa, and also noted that there are several pro-life bills that have been filed and are on their way to being filed in the House and Senate. I asked the church to pray specifically for our push on the Life at Conception bill (which I have already cosponsored) as I believe this may be our best chance to swing for the fences on the life issue.

Whatever happens, it’s shameful that we have allowed for the murder of 60 million babies in the United States. I will do whatever I possibly can in the Iowa House to fight back in any way possible, and I’m hopeful that the Iowa General Assembly will pass some strong pro-life legislation this session.

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Capitol Update Week 2

House District 4,
I’m reminded every week I am down here how honored I am to serve such a great district in Des Moines! Thank you again for letting me be your voice in the Iowa House.This week, I sponsored and cosponsored a number of bills. Below are some of the highlights :
–      Sponsored a bill that would exempt new registration fees for vehicles transferred to a nonprofit entity for the purpose of donation to an individual served by the nonprofit entity in a transaction involving no consideration.HF 57 (This is to help a ministry in our county!)
–      Cosponsored Rep. Heartsill’s Life at Conception bill (pro-life bill).
–      Cosponsored Rep. Salmon’s Constitutional Carry bill (pro-gun bill).BUDGET
We are continually working on our budget. We have a manageable budget shortfall of $117 million and we must keep our budget balanced. We are working to ensure that we put education first, don’t repeat Gov. Culver’s detrimental across-the-board cuts (which really hurt schools, public safety and human services) and see if we can find duplications within the different departments. I am hopeful we will have our budget proposal out next week.Pictured here are Troy Larson (Tea, South Dakota), Rep. Skyler Wheeler (Orange City), Scott Wynja (Sioux Center), Rep. Dan Huseman (Aurelia), Murray Hulstein (Sioux Center), Rep. John Wills (Spirit Lake), Aaron Kooiker (Hull), and Glenn Anderson (Sibley).LEWIS and CLARK WATERThis week I had the honor to meet with several members of our local city government to discuss finishing the Lewis and Clark Water project. In our Transportation/Infrastructure/Capitals Appropriations Subcommittee we have $3.5 million appropriated at this time for both this year and next year towards this project (Rep. Huseman and I will push to hold this number). This project affects Hull and Sioux Center and it’s time we start to put the money and resources behind it to finish this.SEVERAL BILLS FILED IN THE HOUSEA few that I’m looking at closer are:
–      House Joint Resolution (HJR 3) would create an amendment to the Iowa Constitution to give home rule for school districts. I’m a big believer in local control of education so this is something I’ll be looking at closely.
–      House File 20 (HF 20) would protect Iowa’s students from sexual exploitation by a school employee. This has happened too many times in Iowa and it’s an area that the state needs to take a serious look at.BILLS I’M WORKING ONI’m currently working on a religious liberty bill, an EPA nullification bill and several different education bills. I also haveHSB 17 assigned to me in an Education subcommittee meetingon Monday that I will be chairing.

And as always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have!Thanks and God Bless!

Skyler Wheeler
House District 4
(712) 441-7444

“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” Acts 16:31

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One of the neat things

One of the neat things from the first day of the session was the prayer given by Pastor Brian
Lund. Pastor Lund was a special guest of Speaker Upmeyer’s today and he prayed in Christ’s name to open the 2017 session in the House. Very good!!

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