New House Leadership
This year the Iowa House elected new leadership following the resignation of former Speaker Linda Upmeyer. The Republican majority selected Representative Pat Grassley from New Hartford to be the Speaker of the House for the 2020 Legislative Session, and with new leadership comes new legislative priorities.
In his speech to the legislative body Speaker Grassley called upon the chamber to decrease childcare costs for families, improve access to providers, and create an off-ramp for Iowans who want to advance in their careers and phase out their need for government assistance. He stated that, “This is an issue that impacts each of our districts where both parties in this chamber can work together to find solutions.”
The Governor’s Condition of the State Address
On Tuesday, January 14 Governor Kim Reynolds laid out her legislative priorities for 2020 legislative session in her annual Condition of the State Address. Her speech outlined several legislative priorities such as; state licensing reform with the goal of decreasing red tape, expansion of the Employer Innovation Fund, and the need to reform the state constitution to allow for the restoration of voting rights for convicted felons who have served their time.
In her address the Governor rolled out a new initiative called the Invest Iowa Act which will strive to cut income taxes, create a sustainable funding source for our mental health system, reduce the burden on property taxpayers, and fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust. She stated that, “These changes will make our vision a reality. It’s an investment in our future. And it’s an investment in those who are our future.”
The Governor also made it a priority to discuss the need for increased funding for child care. Governor Reynolds outlined that for some it is an affordability issue, but it is simply a problem of reasonable access to child care providers.
News from District 96
The first week of this legislative session was similar to most. The House and Senate heard from Governor Kim Reynolds, Acting Chief Justice Wiggins, and Major General Ben Corell. This year I along with 5 other legislators had the privilege of escorting the Governor from her office to the house chamber.
In my second session as the chair of the Ways and Means Committee we have hit the ground running with our first meeting being on the second day of the legislative session. This committee looks in to all matters relating to taxation and plays a vital role in the legislation that will be passed this session.
If you would like to discuss an issue feel free to come to one of my forums or send me an email. It is an honor to serve as your State Representative for another term in the Iowa House.
January 31st Noon Jones Co Economic Forum
@ Lawrence Community Center in Anamosa
February 7th Delaware Co Farm Bureau Forum 10am
@Delaware County Farm Bureau Office