Statehouse News

Andy McKean
Iowa State Representative, 58th Dist.

Lemonade and Engineers

     We all live under laws and regulations. Most of them make sense but there are a fair amount that don’t. I make it a point to keep my eyes peeled for laws and regulations that are unnecessary and/or outdated and no longer make sense.

     Have any of your children ever had a lemonade stand? I think it’s a great experience for kids and gives them a chance to learn what having a business and working with the public is all about. Believe it or not, those innocent little stands are very likely in violation of Iowa law. Current Iowa law would require our children to obtain a permit and pay a fee in order to set up their stand. This week, the Iowa House passed HF 2238 which will exempt the typical lemonade stand and similar activities from such requirements and prohibit the adoption or enforcement of any ordinance that requires a license, permit, or fee for a food stand operated by a minor.

     Jackson County is considering the possibility of sharing an engineer with another county at some point in the future. This idea makes a lot of sense and our counties need to be looking for ways to spend our tax dollars more efficiently. When Jackson County Supervisor Mike Steines checked into the possibility, he discovered that current Iowa law only allowed counties to share engineers with adjacent counties. That requirement would limit Jackson County to potential sharing agreements with only Jones, Clinton, and Dubuque Counties. With all the new technology that is available, such a requirement no longer made much sense. I introduced HF 2056, which would eliminate this requirement and allow counties to share engineers with any other Iowa county. I’m glad to report that this bill has passed out of Local Government Committee and is eligible for House debate.

     It is good to know that there’s a lot more to the legislature than the contentious issues that seem to get all the press attention. We’re also at work to make some of the commonsense changes that make lives better for the people we represent.

Boosting Iowa’s Skilled Workforce & Creating Good Paying Jobs

     While Iowa has low unemployment, too many Iowans aren’t making enough to keep up with the rising costs of health care, food, and housing. Iowa also faces a significant skilled worker shortage that threatens the future growth of our economy. By 2025, 68 percent of jobs in Iowa will require some training or education beyond high school but currently only 58 percent of our workforce has those skills.

     Since small businesses represent 99 percent of all employers, lawmakers are working this year to target more state job creation incentives to help small businesses expand. Other ideas being considered this year include encouraging more students to work in high demand jobs and supporting more parents who adopt children.

     The three bills introduced this week to create good jobs and a skilled workforce include:

     • Expand Family Leave to Adoptive Parents – Give parents who are adopting the same access to family leave that other parents get.

     • Forgivable Loans for High Demand Jobs – Iowans in high demand jobs would receive up to $12,000 in student loan forgiveness over two years.

     • Loans for Small Businesses – In an effort to target more state job creating incentives to small business, Iowa small businesses with no more than 15 employees can receive a new low interest loan up to $50,000.

     To find out more about these bills go to


Subscriber Login