As the leaves turn brilliant colors, the evenings turn cool, and Friday football is in full swing, I am reminded that the 2014 legislative session is getting closer. It is a good time to reflect on past sessions and consider the work upcoming.
During my opening day speech at the start of the 2013 legislative session, I asked the Iowa Legislature to set an example of the best in public service. I wanted us to demonstrate that Washington D.C.’s divisive politics have no place in Iowa. Since that time, I’m afraid things in D.C. have only gotten worse.
As the dysfunction at the federal level reaches an all-time high, it is no surprise that people are continually losing faith in our government. They are losing faith in the ability of good men and women to tackle issues head on. They are losing faith that members of opposite parties can come together to work in a truly bi-partisan fashion to find solutions to the challenges facing Americans. They are losing faith that good policy can trump political rhetoric.
As I said at the beginning of the year, if you feel anything like me, you are probably more than ready to tell the federal government to move out of the way and let the states handle it! Today, that rings truer than ever.
By working together toward common goals this past session and focusing on doing what is right for the people we represent, the Iowa Legislature proved that great things can still be accomplished.
In one session, with a Republican Majority in the House and a Democratic Majority in the Senate, we were able to do things that many believed could never happen. We were able to pass an historic property tax relief package, comprehensive education reform, and important health care reform- all while adhering to our sound budgeting principles.
I want you to know that Iowans can be proud of the progress we made during the 2013 session, and confident that the state is moving forward in a strong position for the future.
You see, in Iowa, state legislators stay connected with our constituents. We live and work in the communities we represent. We understand the value and importance of working together and maintaining an open dialogue. Even if we greatly differ on certain issues, we do not refuse to sit down and find a way to get our work done. This is how compromises are reached and problems are solved.
At the end of the day, we find solutions in Iowa. We realize we have a job to do, and do not stop until that job is complete. That is your expectation of us, and it needs to be our expectation for ourselves.
Iowans can be proud that we do not have the same problems that plague Washington, D.C. I am hopeful the federal government will take a page from our playbook and choose to come back together, communicate, and not stop working until solutions have been reached.
As always, please feel free to contact me anytime with the issues you care about. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-281-4618.