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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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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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Dansette