It was an exciting week at the Capitol to start off the 2015 Legislative session. This year’s session is scheduled to last 110 days, which puts our scheduled ending date on May 1st this year. The first week of session is always a pretty active week as we get reacquainted with old friends, meet the new Senators and get organized for the new year. Monday was the swearing in ceremony and I took the oath of office to start my second term. I am honored to represent Ankeny, Alleman and north Des Moines once again. It is a responsibility I take very seriously.
On Tuesday, the Governor gave his annual Condition of the State Address. During the speech, he outlines his agenda for the upcoming session and sets the tone for much of what we will be working on. He also released his proposed budget for the next fiscal year, setting his spending priorities within the tax revenue available.
The Governor outlined a wide-ranging agenda. He outlined proposals on expanding broadband/high speed internet, anti-bullying, another tuition freeze for the Regent universities, a skilled worker initiative, and rebuilding and maintaining Iowa’s infrastructure.
Over the next 100 days the Legislature will take his proposals and work to find common ground on these issues. In addition, we will work on our own priorities and issues. As has been the case every year I’ve represented you, my core beliefs of limited, efficient and fiscally responsible government will guide all the decisions I make.
As we begin the 2015 session, the makeup at the Capitol is the exact same as it was the past four years. Republicans control the House of Representatives, Democrats control the Senate and the Governor is back for another term. Iowa is one of only seven states in the country that has a split legislature (Republicans controlling one chamber and Democrats controlling the other). Because we have a split legislature, it will require us to work together to find bipartisan solutions for the issues facing Iowa. It can take a lot of work to find common ground, but we have proven over the past four years that we can make it happen.
I am always accessible by phone, by email or for in person meetings. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, concerns or input. I look forward to representing District 19 at the Capitol this session!