For the past year or so the Iowa Extension Council Association has been working with our local legislators to introduce legislation that would benefit county extension districts with regard to filling council vacancies and submitting financial reports. Senate File 170 has passed. There is also a companion bill in the House. House File 627 passed through the ag subcommittee and is eligible for debate. A summary of the impact of these bills is below.
Senate File 170 and House File 627
These bills would do two things to help extension districts:
1. Allow for vacancies on extension councils to be filled at the next general election
Explanation: Current Iowa Code states that vacancies shall be filled at the next pending election. Under the current code, extension districts may be asked to share the costs of special elections if an extension council vacancy is on the ballot. By changing the code to read general election, extension districts will not have the financial burden of paying for a special election.
2. Moves the deadline for county extension districts to submit annual financial reports from August 1 to September 1.
Explanation: Moving the deadline to submit annual financial reports alleviates the office workload around the busy fair time for many county extension districts.