The Bottom Line

by Iowa State Senator Mike Breitbach

This week several appointments to positions in State government were confirmed along with Senate debate on bills ranging from tanning beds to “growlers.” The Senate approved Senate File 428, which grants municipalities blanket exemption from liability in cases of injuries sustained while participating in recreational activities, including sledding. I managed the DOT Omnibus bill in the Republican Caucus, which passed this week in the Senate. Most of this bill conformed to changes in federal law which is required to access federal funds.
The bill setting the school start date at no earlier than August 23 passed the Senate this week, but Senator Gronstal used a procedure to hold the bill for possible reconsideration. Our schools need to know now what next year’s start date can be and he must release this bill so it can move forward.
There still is not any movement on school funding. I feel we are going to continue to have problems in this area as long as we base school funding on enrollment. Our rural areas are losing enrollment and the current formula will continue to challenge our area schools to be able to meet their financial needs. Couple that with transportation costs compared to urban schools, the rural districts really struggle.
Numerous school groups visited and toured the Capitol, giving them the opportunity to see State government in action. I’m always happy to meet with anyone that can make it down to our State Capital.
My Senate email is or you can call me at 563-920-7399.
If you would like to schedule a time for me to meet with your local group please feel free to contact me to see if we can find a time that would work out.  
Please listen to my interviews with Darin Svenson on KDEC radio (Decorah) at 7 a.m. every Thursday morning, or listen online at