DES MOINES, IOWA — Just one day after Governor Reynolds announced her new school voucher bill, lawmakers laid the groundwork to pass the legislation.

This will be Reynolds’ third attempt to pass private school vouchers, with this plan allocating $7,600 of public tax dollars to private school families per child.

On Wednesday, lawmakers met in both the House Education Reform committee and Senate Education committee to officially assign the governor’s bill to a subcommittee. The subcommittee will pass the bill back to the committee and then to the floor of the House and Senate to be debated and voted on.

The Senate subcommittee takes place on Thursday at 2 p.m. with time for public comment. During the Senate Education committee on Wednesday, there was no private school voucher debate, but several lawmakers made remarks during opening statements.

“I want to make sure for the parents of the 511,000 kids pre-K through 12 in our state that their choice is respected and supported as well, any proposal that will take away from our public schools will hurt our kids. I don’t want our kids getting less,” said State Senator Sarah Trone Garriot, (D) from West Des Moines.

“I’m excited about this session. I am excited because we are going to empower parents and students,” said State Senator Brad Zaun, (R) from Urbandale.

“The key factor that we are going to vote on presumably in the first 30 days, that’s the usual schedule, is the state cost per pupil. Had the state cost per pupil kept up with inflation over the last six years, simply kept up with inflation, we would’ve had to spend a billion dollars more than we actually did,” said State Senator Herman Quirmbach, (D) from Ames.

“I think it is has been a priority for the governor as she demonstrated last night and it has been a priority for several of my colleagues in the Iowa Senate, for many years actually,” said Ken Rozenboom, (R) from Oskaloosa.