“We understand where the lack of accountability was in the structure, and they’ve identified it, so I think they’ve taken proper action,” Reynolds said. “The individual is no longer there, and they’re moving forward.”
MENTORING MONTH: Gov. Kim Reynolds was slated Tuesday to make an official proclamation declaring January as Mentoring Month in Iowa — marking the 16th annual National Mentoring Month as part of a campaign aimed to begin dialogues on the importance of quality mentoring programs and the effect they have on youth in Iowa. Officials say research has shown that with a mentor, at-risk youth are 46 percent less likely than their peers to start using drugs, 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college, and 78 percent more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities. Iowa has more than 9,000 mentors who serve youth in programs certified by the Iowa Mentoring Partnership. However, advocates say thousands more Iowa youth could benefit from having a mentor.
State officials say GirlsGoCyberStart is a free online game of discovery that offers girls in grades 9-12 the opportunity to learn basic cybersecurity skills and test their cyber aptitude. Participants do not need any prior cybersecurity knowledge or IT experience. The only requirements are a computer and an internet connection.
House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake, expects the matter to be referred to the Government Oversight Committee.
A roundup of legislative and Capitol news items of interest for Monday, Jan. 22:
Gov. Kim Reynolds and top Republicans from the House and Senate met privately Monday in what they described as a routine weekly discussion rather than specific budget talks. Legislative Republicans have indicated they would like to create a larger ending balance than the $3.6 million in the governor’s proposed fiscal 2018 revisions, which could require deeper cuts than the $29 million she proposed. She also sought to use $11.4 million in new revenue created by the federal tax cut, but that has drawn some GOP legislative resistance as well.
ICN AUDIT AFTERMATH: Gov. Kim Reynolds told reporters Monday she is satisfied that proper action has been taken in the aftermath of a state audit that identified $379,500 in improper disbursements and undeposited collections resulting from management decisions by the former executive director of the Iowa Communications Network.
SCHOOL CHOICE WEEK: Gov. Kim Reynolds has issued an official proclamation recognizing this week as Iowa School Choice Week — an event with the goal of raising awareness about the options that parents have for their children’s education. The week will feature 270 events and activities across Iowa, including open house events at schools, school fairs, home-school information sessions and other celebrations, organizers said.
BUDGET TALKS: Statehouse Republicans continued discussions Monday aimed at erasing a projected shortfall of about $35 million in the fiscal 2018 budget year that ends June 30.