Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center, is still trying to work out a way to build a joint law enforcement and emergency workers training facility in Iowa.
A bill which would set aside funds for a future project passed in the Senate this week but the House did not take it up.
Sodders talked about other ways to try to land the public safety project at a public forum Friday at Iowa Valley Continuing Education. Sodders said they have located $32 million in Homeland Security funds that need to be repurposed and are going after that for the project.
T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER
Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center, speaks at a public forum Friday at Iowa Valley Continuing Education.
"This would truly be historic if we do something like this for the state of Iowa," said Sodders, whose regular job is a Marshall County Sheriff's deputy.
There's also a possibility the Iowa National Guard would build a training facility that could include law enforcement at Camp Dodge, Sodders said.
Sodders will return to the Statehouse next week, which he is hoping will be the final week of the current legislative session. One of the big issues still being worked out is commercial property tax reform. While businesses will get some tax relief out of the plan, cities could be forced to get by with less funding.
"Unfortunately in this the cities are going to take a little bit of of a hit," Sodders said.
Sodders said the details of the education reform plan are still being worked out but the House and Senate are now closer on the money aspect of the plan. He is a big advocate of the reading initiative to make sure all children can read by the third grade.
Sodders is also continuing to push for money for skilled workforce training and education.
"Jobs and education are together," Sodders said. "Any more that's a marriage."