Collective Bargaining: Fact vs. Fiction
Each legislative session is governed by a set of deadlines that help keep the session on pace and give necessary structure to our work. There are two funnels each session, the first of which is March 3. In order to meet these impending deadlines and respect the full legislative process, we have to work quickly on legislation we want to get accomplished this year.
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Expanding the Focus
As we wrap up our fourth full week of session, our attention remains steady on setting Supplemental School Aid (SSA), and the broader school funding conversation. As stated in last week’s newsletter, House Republicans want to expand the discussion beyond percentages, and keep other key issues at the forefront such as allowing for more flexibility, resolving inequities, and creating certainty for schools. Read more »
When the Iowa Legislature adjourned last year, we passed a budget that was balanced based on revenue projections. Over the course of the first six months of the fiscal year, revenue has increased, but it did so at a much slower rate than anticipated. When we returned this year, it became our first order of business to adjust last year’s spending to again make sure the state spends less than it takes in. To that end, House Republicans have worked hard for several months to negotiate a bill that corrects the budget, sticks to our budgeting principles, and reflects the priority needs of Iowans.
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Smaller, Smarter Government
On Monday, we celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The day off gave us a chance to reflect on the first week of session and gear up for week two. Even with a shortened week, we were able to make serious progress on budget negotiations and other key policy discussions. I also spent a considerable amount of time meeting with individuals and organizations about their legislative priorities.
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2017 Session Opening Remarks
Monday marked the first day of the 2017 legislative session and I offered the following remarks to the members of the Iowa House:
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A Time For Listening
As Christmas decorations go up around the Capitol, I am again reminded how quickly this year is coming to a close. While I am busy preparing for the holidays just like you, I am also very busy preparing for next session which is just around the corner.
With the 2017 legislative session only a few short weeks away, preparations are in full swing to ensure we hit the ground running on January 9th. There is a lot that needs to happen behind the scenes and House Republicans are working hard to make sure everything is in place for opening day. Bills are being drafted, committees are being assigned, and our schedules are quickly filling up with meetings.
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Looking Forward To New Opportunities
The historic 2016 election is finally behind us and I am humbled and truly grateful to be given another two years to serve House District 43. I am also honored that my colleagues have chosen me to serve another term as Majority Leader.
I am looking forward to taking a short break and enjoying Thanksgiving with my family next week. I have a lot to be thankful for and the opportunity to serve Iowans at the Statehouse is at the top of my list. While I am ready for a change of pace, I am already thinking about the upcoming session and everything House Republicans will accomplish during the 87th General Assembly. We made promises to voters along the way and intend to use the power Iowans entrusted to us to keep those promises. Read more »
Election Day is Upon Us
On Tuesday, voters from all across the country will head to the polls to select the next President of the United States, their representatives in Congress, and several state and local positions. The cornerstone of democracy is informed citizens exercising their right to cast a ballot for who they believe should lead. In this week’s newsletter, I want to provide some information about the voting process that I hope will make it easier for you to exercise your voting rights. Continue reading below to find out what elected positions will be on your ballot, where to find your polling location, and how to register at the polls. Read more »
Commitment to Improving Iowa’s Water Quality
Access to clean water is something that all Iowans want and deserve. It is important to have safe drinking water and clean lakes and rivers for recreation. While the state has already made significant progress to improve water quality through various efforts, House Republicans remain committed to devoting substantial resources in order to protect and preserve Iowa’s waterways.
During Governor Branstad’s condition of the state address in January, he detailed a bold, innovative plan to significantly increase resources available to water quality efforts without raising taxes. While the initial plan failed to gain traction, it served as a springboard for a conversation on how we can improve the quality of Iowa’s streams and waterways. Read more »
Information from the Iowa Department of Human Services Confirms EpiPen Price Surge
The EpiPen price surge and allegations of the company overcharging taxpayers continues to make headlines. Just this week, it was reported that a misclassification of the EpiPen as a generic drug had enabled Mylan, the maker of the drug, to pay a lower rebate to the federal government than it would have if it was classified as a brand-name drug, potentially costing taxpayers millions.
Last month, I submitted a request to the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) for information along with a request to the Iowa Attorney General to begin an investigation on the recent price surge in EpiPens. Iowans continue to have concerns over the skyrocketing cost of healthcare across the board, and with the recent overcharges to Minnesota and the federal government, Iowa taxpayers deserve to know whether they have been similarly overcharged. Read more »