May 24, 2022 - Politics

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds' school voucher program fails to pass

Gov. Kim Reynolds

Gov. Kim Reynolds talks to the press at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on April 13. Photo: Kelsey Kremer/The Register/USA Today Network

The Iowa Legislature returned to the Capitol Monday to convene for what's expected to be the final week of the legislative session.

Driving the news: Lawmakers on Monday decided the future of two major bills: school choice and bottle bill reform.

State of play: Gov. Kim Reynolds' heavily pushed private school scholarship program is tabled following disagreement among House Republicans, according to the Register.

  • The program would have diverted $55 million in public school funding for the creation of a state-run scholarship fund that low-income Iowans could use to attend private school.
  • Yes, but: Lawmakers in rural areas said they were concerned the bill would hurt their school districts, especially since 42 counties don't even have a private school, Radio Iowa reports.

Meanwhile, after years of debate, a bill reforming Iowa's bottle redemption program is heading to the governor's desk.

  • Iowa is one of 10 states with a bottle bill designed to reduce recyclables in landfills by charging consumers a nickel for bottle/can purchases, which can be reimbursed when empties are returned.

The bottom line: The bill allows grocers to stop accepting bottle returns and paying deposits.

  • Sen. Jason Schultz (R-Schleswig), a leader on the bill, said it's likely most grocery stores will stop taking bottles, Iowa Capital Dispatch reports.

Of note: Menstrual products and diapers won’t be taxed anymore under a bill heading to the governor’s desk, per KCCI-TV


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