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Meet Rachel

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Meet Rachel

We’ve finally had some nice weather and farmers will soon be headed out to the fields for planting. When farmers head back to the fields, that’s normally a good indication that our work in Des Moines is coming to an end.  That continues to hold true this year.

We are wrapping up the final policy bills of the session and work on the budget continues.  Our budget plan makes investments in key priorities and protects essential functions of government.  We’ve fought hard to protect funding for K-12 schools, as well as provide additional funding for community colleges and put more State Troopers on our highways.

Each session, high school students from across the state are given the unique opportunity to work as pages in the Iowa Legislature.  This once in a lifetime experience gives students the chance to see the inner workings of state government and make connections and friendships that will last a lifetime.

I’ve had the opportunity to sit alongside an incredible young woman, Rachel Zumbach of Coggon, who has served as the Speaker’s page this session.  In this week’s newsletter she shares her experience:

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Advancing a Responsible Budget

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Advancing a Responsible Budget

The 100th day of the legislative session is soon approaching and I’m hopeful that we can still complete our work on time.  With many policy discussions concluded, our attention will be focused on the budget as we begin to wrap up the 2017 session.

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Moving Forward

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Moving Forward

The second legislative funnel deadline has passed which has narrowed our list of bills that remain eligible this session.  With many policy discussions resolved, our attention will be focused on the budget as we work to complete our business on time this session.

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Broadening the Conversation

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Broadening the Conversation

Only about three weeks remain for this year’s session so our focus will soon turn to the state budget.  Budget chairs have already begun their work reviewing the various programs and line items in their budgets.

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Opportunities and Challlenges

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Opportunities and Challenges

Our work to enact policies that move Iowa forward continued this week as we spent many hours on the floor in debate.  We passed several bills this week that will benefit the majority of Iowans and make our state a great place to raise a family or grow a business.  Here are a few of the highlights:

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Acting Boldly

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Acting Boldly

We had a great week in the Iowa Legislature this week.  We continue to act boldly, passing positive reforms and getting the important work of Iowans done.  We’re keeping our promise to Iowa voters to shake things up in Des Moines and challenge the status quo.

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Funnel Week is Here!

We have reached the first funnel of the session.  The legislative “funnel” is a deadline that requires House bills to be approved by at least one House committee to remain eligible for consideration, and vice versa in the Senate.  It’s our way to winnow down the issues that have support and those that lack support.

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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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Dansette