Spring is definitely in the air! The warming temperatures did not distract us from completing another productive week at the Capitol. We wrapped up the second legislative funnel, a deadline which requires policy bills to have cleared either the House or Senate and a committee of the other chamber in order to remain eligible for further consideration. Appropriations, Ways & Means, and Government Oversight bills are exempt from the funnel rules.
While much of this week was devoted to committee work, we were able to debate some legislation on the House floor. On Monday, the House passed HF 2439, a bill to preserve and strengthen local control in our schools, while ensuring rigorous outcomes are achieved. In Iowa, we have a long tradition of empowering local school districts to determine our children’s educational needs, including the curriculum used in our classrooms.
A few years ago, legislation commonly referred to as the Iowa Core, was passed that sets standards for what Iowa K-12 students should know at each grade level in areas such as literacy, math, science, and social studies. Over the past year, we have been working hard to listen to concerns that the federal government could overstep their authority and begin to interfere in the type of instructional delivery and the curriculum used in our classrooms. These decisions should be left to our local school districts. HF 2439 strengthens the process for setting and reviewing Iowa’s standards and makes it clear all curriculum and instructional material choices remain the responsibility of our local school districts.
On a different subject, I have received some questions regarding some confusing information that was sent into my district questioning my support of our 2nd Amendment rights, particularly in regards to HF 2284, a bill that was not passed out of the House Judiciary Committee in time to remain eligible for consideration this year. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide accurate information about my unwavering support for preserving and enhancing our 2nd Amendment rights.
Each year, we work closely with Iowans and organizations that are genuinely interested in advancing gun rights, such as the Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC) and the National Rifle Association (NRA), to discuss legislation that we can gain consensus on that will further preserve our 2nd Amendment rights. Since coming into the majority in the House, we have passed several pieces of legislation that would strengthen our 2nd Amendment rights, but unfortunately the Senate has considered none of them. Until there is a change in the Senate, it is unlikely we will be able to truly accomplish anything to strengthen our 2nd Amendment rights.
Earlier this week, I filed papers to run for re-election to continue to represent the people of House District 54. It has been an honor to serve in the Iowa House since I was first elected in 2002. We have accomplished a lot since gaining the majority in 2010, and I am hopeful to continue to serve you by fighting for policies that promote job creation, provide real and significant tax relief and reform, and maintain responsible budgeting practices. For the past four years, since coming into the majority, we’ve spent less than the state takes in. This is in stark contrast to the four previous budgets passed under different leadership that all spent more than we take in. It’s been an honor and a privilege to represent the people of House District 54 and I look forward to the opportunity to continue serving you.
As always, I would love to hear from you. If you would like to draw my attention to an issue you care about, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-281-4618.