The 2014 Legislative session kicked off this week with a lot of optimism after a 2013 session that saw the legislature pass several huge reforms, including property tax reform, education reform and healthcare reform.
Following an extremely busy and productive session, many people are predicting a shorter, less productive session this year. However, I believe we need to continue to work hard to move Iowa forward. Over the past 3 years, we have completely turned around the state budget, Iowa has lowered its unemployment from over 6% to 4.4%, and Iowa is now the 3rd Best Managed State in America according to a recent report. Iowans trust us to make our great state stronger and create an Iowa where everyone flourishes. We can do even better.
We must continue to work on issues impacting Iowans and continue to act responsibly with legislation to strengthen our economy, foster job creation and provide Iowans a world-class education. I am excited to begin working on income tax reform, which benefits Iowans by putting more money in their pockets. Passing sensible tax policy also makes Iowa more appealing for businesses looking to expand or relocate in our state.
The governor gave his Condition of the State address on Tuesday. It was a very positive and optimistic message. He highlighted the ability of the Legislature to work together over the past few years and find common ground on the issues important to Iowa.
The governor outlined an agenda with several items, including an expansion of the digital capabilities in Iowa, an anti-bullying bill, and an initiative to encourage more veterans to come to Iowa after they complete their military career. The legislature will begin work on these issues immediately.
It is an honor to serve the people of Ankeny, Alleman and Des Moines in the Iowa Senate. I look forward to an exciting session. Please contact me at [email protected] with any questions or concerns!