State legislative session opens next week

State relations officer Carolann Jensen will spend a lot of time talking about Iowa State at the capitol complex in Des Moines this semester. That's where the state Board of Regents' appropriations funding requests, including ISU's portion, will be considered by the Iowa Legislature. The 2020 legislative session opens Monday, Jan. 13. 

Contact information

Carolann Jensen
Twitter, @AllianceIowaSt8

"As an alumna, I am 'Forever True' and am excited to share my passion for Iowa State," Jensen said. "There is a lot to be proud of here at ISU. I love telling the stories of our successes. I look forward to helping legislators learn about the huge impact Iowa State has in all 99 counties."

Funding requests

Jensen outlined four areas for Iowa State's fiscal year 2021 legislative budget requests:

  • General university appropriation
  • Direct appropriations for special purpose units
  • Economic development support
  • College of Human Sciences construction project

Iowa State is requesting $181.6 million in general operating funds, an increase of $7 million. Direct appropriations funding does not change, but Jensen will ask legislators to move the livestock disease research line item ($172,844) from the education appropriations subcommittee to the agriculture and natural resources appropriations subcommittee.

Iowa State and the University of Iowa are requesting full funding of a joint biosciences innovation program that received $1.1 million of a requested $4 million last year. ISU would use $3 million of those economic development state dollars to lead the work on three of the four bioscience platforms -- biobased products, precision and digital agriculture, and vaccines and immunotherapeutics -- while Iowa spearheads work on medical devices. 

ISU is asking for a $30 million commitment -- $10 million per year for three years -- for a College of Human Sciences building plan. The $55 million project, which would replace LeBaron Hall and renovate a portion of MacKay Hall, includes $15 million in private support and $10 million in university funds.

How to help

Jensen said employees can help her demonstrate Iowa State's impact on the state.

"I collect success stories about students, faculty, staff and projects to share with the hometown legislators," she said.

Jensen said her role provides a central point of contact to help ISU have a succinct and consistent message with legislators. She encouraged faculty and staff to let her know when legislators contact them for information about Iowa State.

"It helps if I know what legislators may be focusing on or are interested in," she said.


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