District 45 Rep. Erin Zwiener laid out House Bill 2344 and House Bill 2350 before the House Public Education Committee and House Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday.
HB 2344 would allow school districts to implement a writing portfolio in order to fulfill the writing component of required state reading assessments. Standardized writing assessments grade students based on a formula; teaching this formula often leads students to become less creative. Portfolios would grade students on their body of work while also providing a more in-depth reflection of their skills.
HB 2350 would encourage more nature-based
infrastructure projects through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Communities seeking loans for wastewater system upgrades can access extra funds for projects such as rain gardens, wetlands and other projects that create permeable surfaces, allowing rainwater to percolate into aquifers rather than running off surfaces. While nature-based infrastructure can help reduce the impact of flooding and increase groundwater supply, it has not been widely adopted throughout the state.
“Nature-based infrastructure is a powerful tool for mitigating flooding and also provides additional benefits such as aquifer recharge, outdoor space, and reducing heat islands,” Zwiener said. “HB 2350 will let municipalities use a bottom-up approach to develop locally directed projects to fit
their community’s needs.”