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Funnel Week Approaching

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Funnel Week Approaching

With funnel week fast approaching, committee work took the focus this week to make sure that key legislation continues to stay alive.  The legislative “funnel” is a rule that requires bills to receive approval from at least one committee to remain eligible for consideration.  If a bill fails to advance out of committee, it is considered dead until next session begins.  I’ll have more information on bills that survived the funnel in next week’s newsletter.

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A Win for Taxpayers

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A Win for Taxpayers

Members worked hard this week as we debated reforms to the state’s collective bargaining laws.  On Thursday afternoon, both the House and Senate passed House File 291 and sent it the Governor, where we expect him to sign the bill into law.

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Rebalancing the Scales

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Rebalancing the Scales

We fulfilled our commitment last week of setting Supplemental State Aid within the first 30 days of session.  This provides school districts with the certainty they need to begin planning their budgets for next school year.  Thank you to the Senate and the Governor for their shared commitment in getting this done in a timely manner.

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More Flexibility

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More Flexibility

Ever since I’ve served in the Iowa House, one of my favorite days during the legislative session is when FFA students come to visit.  On Tuesday, the entire Capitol was flooded with kids in blue jackets from all over the state, visiting with their elected officials!  I was lucky enough to have a chance to meet with some of the students from the Tall Corn FFA Chapter.

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Reaching Agreement and Moving Forward

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Reaching Agreement and Moving Forward

I had many visitors stop by my office this week including Brad Barber, a small business owner from Clear Lake, and Heather Englin, who works for the American Cancer Society in Waterloo.  It’s always great to see people from back home as well as the various groups visiting the Capitol during the week.  If you happen to find yourself in Des Moines during session, feel free to stop by my office!

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New Beginnings

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New Beginnings

On Monday, we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day to honor a great American that dedicated his life to fighting against discrimination.  As I reflected on Dr. King’s contributions to our country, I ran across this quote from him that really stood out to me: “The time is always right to do what is right.”  As legislators, we should remember the words of Dr. King and continue to do what’s right.

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The House is in Order

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The House is in Order!

Excitement and optimism filled the air this week in Des Moines as we called the 87th General Assembly to order.  The week was largely ceremonial with speeches from legislative leaders, the Governor, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  Even with all of the pomp and circumstance throughout the week, legislators hit the ground running and got to work.

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Kicking off the 2017 Session

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Kicking off the 2017 Session

With the holidays in the past and a new year upon us, newfound optimism is always afoot.  I am grateful for the time I was able to spend with family and friends over Christmas and hope you all had an opportunity to do so as well.

A few weeks back, the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) met to update their budget projections for the current and next fiscal years.  During their meeting, the REC decided to lower the current fiscal year revenue projection by about $96 million.  This means that when we come into the new legislative session we will face a manageable shortfall of about $110 million.

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Speaker Upmeyer’s Weekly Newsletter

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A Time to be Thankful

Thanksgiving weekend is here which gives us a great opportunity to reflect on what we’re thankful for.  I hope that you all have a great holiday and are able to spend some time with family and friends.

This past Election Day, I was elected to serve my eighth term in the Iowa House.  I want to thank the citizens of House District 54 for the honor of representing you in the House as your State Representative.  It is a humbling experience and a privilege to receive your continued support.
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Speaker Upmeyer’s Weekly Newsletter

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Early Voting Time

October is here and the chilly weather didn’t wait a second to come as well.  As fall gets underway, that means harvest season is nearly here.  Soon enough, farmers will be spending countless hours out in the fields doing what they do best:  feeding the world.  Be sure to watch for slow moving vehicles and have patience on the roads as harvest season kicks into full gear.

Over the last two weeks, many areas across the state have been affected by severe flooding, including those in Butler County.  The recent flooding brings back memories of the historic floods of 2008 that devastated communities all over the state.  Fortunately, cities and towns were much more prepared this year with 2008 in the back of their minds.  Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt during the recent flooding. Read more »

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Dansette