Posts tagged: Under the Golden Dome

Under the Golden Dome, Too – Growing a 21st Century Workforce

UTGD

Earlier this week we celebrated Veteran’s Day to honor those who served in our nation’s armed forces. I’d like to take the time at the beginning of this newsletter to thank them for their service, sacrifice, and dedication to this country. Without the brave men and women of our armed forces, past and present, I wouldn’t be able to represent the 30,000 citizens of District 54 in the Iowa House. Our soldiers and veterans have fought to ensure that all Americans remain free and that our democracy stands.

I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many Iowans over recent weeks. The topics of education, career readiness and workforce needs have come up frequently. While the Legislature has taken steps over the past few years to solve some of these issues, there is still work to be done.

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Under the Golden Dome, Too

UTGD

Caution Flags

With Halloween upon us next week, that means that the Holiday Season is right around the corner.  Soon we will all be getting ready to spend time with family and friends over Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners as we head into the New Year.  It’s hard to believe that we are only about two months away from 2016!

Last week the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) held its October meeting where they projected how much revenue the state can expect to collect during the current fiscal year and next year.  The REC consists of three members: one from the Legislative Branch, one from the Executive Branch, and a member from the public.

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Under the Golden Dome, Too

UTGD

Iowa’s Farm Economy in Decline

Autumn is finally upon us which brings one of my favorite times of the year in Iowa.  Pumpkin patches, football, and harvest season fill our weekends, and we’re treated to absolutely gorgeous weather while we watch the leaves change colors.  It’s truly hard to think of a better time of year.

In talking over the last few months with farmers across Iowa, I’m hearing more and more about the sluggish farm economy.  Agriculture and rural communities are the backbone of Iowa and our economy so it’s important to keep an eye on what is going on with our farmers.  This year has been especially tough for our livestock and crop farmers in dealing with both the avian flu and the decline in commodity prices.

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Under the Golden Dome, Too – An Amazing Opportunity

Upmeyer Chamber

This is a special newsletter for me to write this week. Yesterday, I was elected by my colleagues to be the next Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives. I will now follow in the footsteps of my father, Del Stromer, who served as the speaker in the 1980’s while also blazing a new trail as the first woman to serve as speaker in Iowa history.

I have never been more humbled than I am by those who have given me this amazing opportunity. While you were not a part of the vote for speaker, you are the ones that made it a possibility.

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Under the Golden Dome, Too – July 28

Upmeyer UTGD

It’s hard to believe, but July is almost over. With the help of some great weather, I have recently enjoyed spending more time outside gardening and playing with my grandchildren. Parade season is well underway and I’ve enjoyed seeing many familiar faces these last few weeks!

It is a privilege to represent so many great communities in North-Central Iowa and I often think about what can be done to help these communities thrive. That has always been a way for me to focus my energy in the Legislature.

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Under the Golden Dome, Too – June 19

Upmeyer UTGD

As local swimming pools, lakes, and rivers begin to fill up across the state, it’s hard to believe we are already in the latter part of June! Town festivals celebrating our communities’ rich and unique heritages are well underway. County fairs have kicked-off across the state showcasing our youngest residents’ commitment to the backbone of our economy…Iowa agriculture. It’s certainly hard to think of a better place to be than Iowa in the summertime.

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Under the Golden Dome, Too – May 29

Upmeyer UTGD

The calendar will soon flip to June and our work in the legislature continues. You may be wondering why this legislative session has gone into overtime. Simply put, we are fighting to ensure the long-term economic health of our state is not compromised and funding for services to Iowans remains viable year after year.

When negotiations began this year, over $200 million separated us from the Senate Majority party. This level of spending would require us to spend more than we take in this year, and therefore risk putting our state in a dangerous economic position. I think most would agree that with $180 million in new revenue, we should be able to fund the priorities of Iowans. If not, we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

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Under the Golden Dome, Too – May 22

Upmeyer UTGD

The House continued to work toward adjournment this week as we considered the last remaining budget bill, the Standings Appropriations bill, on the House floor. That being said, most of the budget bills will now be discussed in conference committee, where the House and Senate conferees will seek compromise on the differences between our proposals.

Included in the Standings bill are a number of important policy items that we continue to work on this session. By maintaining a responsible budget and commonsense policy initiatives, this bill strengthens Iowa’s middle class, increases public safety across our state, and protects Iowa taxpayers.

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Under the Golden Dome, Too – May 15

Upmeyer UTGD

As we continue on the path toward adjournment for this legislative session, our focus remains on passing a sustainable, responsible, and balanced state budget. Most appropriations bills are being considered in conference committees, where the House and Senate will work together to seek compromise on the differences between our proposals.

This week the House debated the Health and Human Services appropriations bill on the floor. This budget provides funding for programs like Medicaid, mental health care, services for troubled youth, help for our seniors and veterans, and job opportunities for Iowans with intellectual disabilities. This is a $2.3 billion budget with another $4.5 billion coming from federal dollars.

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Under the Golden Dome, Too – May 8

Upmeyer UTGD

April showers have continued into the month of May. Despite the scattered rain, I hope you have been able to find some time to enjoy the warmer temperatures and new greenery that is springing up across our state.

This week the House passed legislation that strengthens Iowa’s middle class and helps retain and attract young families.

HF 631 will help Iowans interested in purchasing their first home, save money in order to do so. The bill establishes a new homebuyers savings account that will help first-time homebuyers save money for a down payment.

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