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Democrat Games Push Schools Past Deadline

(DES MOINES) – Today Rep. Chuck Soderberg (R-Le Mars), co-chair of the Legislative Conference Committee on education funding, sharply criticized Senate Democrats for playing politics with education funding.

“The first bill off the floor of the House was setting school funding.  Republicans put forth a serious and significant proposal for funding, a $100 million investment which is more than half of all new money coming into the state,” said Soderberg.  “Since that point, Senate Democrats have done nothing but deliberately waste time and push off the funding decision passed the deadline schools face to certify their budgets.  Iowa’s school children deserve more than politics from the Senate Democrats.”

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House Republicans Respond to Democrats Budget Targets

(DES MOINES) – House Appropriations Chairman Chuck Soderberg (R-Le Mars) released the following statement in response to Senate Democrats’ budget targets:

“The targets released today by the Senate Democrats spend more than the hardworking taxpayers of Iowa are paying, and we’re committed to balancing ongoing spending with ongoing revenue.  The state has $7.175 billion in ongoing revenue and we will not spend more than that.”

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Majority Leader Upmeyer’s Opening Remarks for the 86th General Assembly

Below are Majority Leader Upmeyer’s opening day remarks, prepared for delivery:

Thank you Mr. Speaker,

Ladies and Gentlemen of the House, our families and guests here today, and to all Iowans listening and watching online, welcome to the 86th General Assembly of the Iowa House of Representatives.

I am honored to be sworn in today with such an amazing group of people. Take a look around the room. The variety of expertise and experience here is impressive.

You bring with you a wealth of perspective that will enrich the work we do here. Thank you for offering your time and talent to serve. Thank you to your families and friends for their support and helping make it possible for you to be here.

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Speaker Pro Tem Windschitl’s Opening Remarks for the 86th General Assembly

Below are Speaker Pro Tem Windschitl’s opening day remarks, prepared for delivery:

Ladies and gentlemen of the 86th General Assembly thank you for bestowing on me the honor to serve as Speaker Pro Tem. It is truly an honor and a privilege to serve with all of you. I would like to thank my constituents back home for choosing me to be their voice in this august body. I would also like to thank my family, especially my wife Ivelisse and our daughters, for all the sacrifices they make to accommodate my service to the people of Iowa.

We each have different priorities our constituents sent us here to focus on. As Speaker Pro Tem I look forward to working with each and every one of you to accomplish many of those priorities in a bipartisan fashion. There are times we may not agree on the best path forward, but we all have a similar interest at heart, to do what is right by the people of Iowa.

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Speaker Paulsen’s Opening Remarks for the 86th General Assembly

Below are Speaker Paulsen’s opening day remarks, prepared for delivery:

Friends, family, representatives – welcome to the 86th General Assembly.

I’d like to take a moment to recognize all of the family members in the chamber today, particularly my wife Cathy.  Our families are our biggest supporters and make the most sacrifices in our service to Iowans.  Thank you for your constant strength and encouragement.

I’d also like to recognize that as we convene today we are missing one of our own.  Please keep Rep. Dwayne Alons’ family in your prayers and let’s remember his commitment to Iowans and the fervor in which he worked to move our state forward.

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House Republicans Announce Committee Memberships

86th GA Committee Memberships

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House Speaker Announces Committee Chairs

(DES MOINES) – Monday, House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) announced the standing and budget committee chairs for the eighty-sixth General Assembly which begins January 12, 2015.  They are as follows:

Standing Committees

  • Administrative Rules Review:  Rep. Dawn Pettengill (R-Mount Auburn)
  • Administration and Rules:  Rep. Walt Rogers (R-Cedar Falls)
  • Agriculture:  Rep. Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford)
  • Appropriations:  Rep. Chuck Soderberg (R-Le Mars)
  • Commerce:  Rep. Peter Cownie (R-West Des Moines)
  • Economic Growth:  Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa (R-Council Bluffs)
  • Education:  Rep. Ron Jorgensen (R-Sioux City)
  • Environmental Protection:  Rep. Megan Jones (R-Sioux Rapids)
  • Ethics:  Rep. Rob Taylor (R-West Des Moines)
  • Government Oversight:  Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (R-Wilton)
  • Human Resources:  Rep. Linda Miller (R-Bettendorf)
  • International Relations:  Rep. Jake Highfill (R-Johnston)
  • Judiciary:  Rep. Chip Baltimore (R-Boone)
  • Labor:  Rep. Greg Forristall (R-Macedonia)
  • Local Government:  Rep. Kevin Koester (R-Ankeny)
  • Natural Resources:  Rep. Brian Moore (R-Bellevue)
  • Public Safety:  Rep. Clel Baudler (R-Greenfield)
  • State Government:  Rep. Guy Vander Linden (R-Oskaloosa)
  • Transportation:  Rep. Josh Byrnes (R-Osage)
  • Veterans Affairs:  Rep. Quentin Stanerson (R-Center Point)
  • Ways and Means:  Rep. Tom Sands (R-Wapello)

Appropriations Subcommittees:

  • Administration and Regulation:    Rep. John Landon (R-Ankeny)
  • Agriculture and Natural Resources:  Rep. Jack Drake (R-Griswold)
  • Economic Development:  Rep. Dave Deyoe (R-Nevada)
  • Education:  Rep. Cecil Dolecheck (R-Mt. Ayr)
  • Health and Human Services:  Rep. Dave Heaton (R-Mount Pleasant)
  • Justice Systems:  Rep. Gary Worthan (R-Storm Lake)
  • Transportation, Infrastructure and Capitals:  Rep. Dan Huseman (R-Aurelia)
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House Republicans Elect Leadership

(DES MOINES)—Today Iowa House Republicans elected the leadership team that will carry them into the eighty-sixth General Assembly.

Rep. Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) was selected to continue in the role of the Speaker of the House. Paulsen will be serving his seventh term. He is an attorney for CRST International, Inc. in Cedar Rapids. A former member of the United States Air Force, Paulsen had previously served as the Minority Whip, the House Republican Leader and Speaker for four years.

Rep. Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) was re-elected as the House Majority Leader. Upmeyer will be serving her seventh term in the House and is a nurse practitioner. Upmeyer previously served as the House Minority Whip for two years and the Majority Leader for four years.

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Communications Internship Opportunity

Communications Intern

The House Republican caucus is seeking a communications intern for the 2015 legislative session.  Interns will work with the House Republican research staff as well as the Speaker and Majority Leader’s offices and duties will include:  press releases, photography, videography, social media updates, letters, certificates, various writing assignments, and general office duties.  The intern will interact with legislators, staff and members of the media.

Applicants should have an interest in media, Republican politics, and /or communications.  Excellent writing skills are required.

Dates are flexible and time commitment would be roughly 10 hours a week.

Interested applicants should submit a resume to Josie Albrecht at Josie.Albrecht@legis.iowa.gov.  Resume deadline is Friday, November 21st.

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Statement from Rep. Alons

(HULL) – Rep. Dwayne Alons (R-Hull) announced he has been diagnosed with renal cancer in the left kidney.  He will undergo treatments this fall and will continue serving in the Legislature.

“I want to thank my wife, Clarice, family, close friends and neighbors for their support and prayers; they are much appreciated.  I believe unity in prayer is a powerful force against this attack on my body, and I am truly relying on my Lord Jesus as the great Physician.  Serving the people of Sioux County is an exceptional honor and blessing for me and it is a commitment I intend to uphold,” said Rep. Alons.

Alons is running unopposed for re-election to his ninth term in the Iowa House.  He is a retired farmer and retired Iowa Air National Guard Brigadier General.

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