Hi Daily Iowegian!
After nine weeks and the second funnel now behind us, a couple things have become very clear — Senate Democrats are determined to push for more spending and expanding the scope of government. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are working on issues impacting Iowa families and pushing for legislation that strengthens our economy, fosters job creation and provides Iowans a world class education.
House Republicans and Senate Democrats have proposed joint budget targets of $6.972 billion, which is nearly $3 million below ongoing revenues. While I believe the budget targets will remain close to those proposed by the two chambers at the end of this session, Senate Republicans will continue to push for a budget that spends less than we take in on an ongoing basis, doesn’t purposefully underfund programs to balance the budget, doesn’t spend one-time money for ongoing programs and returns money to Iowa taxpayers.
We have spent the past couple weeks in the Iowa Senate debating and voting on legislation that deals with a variety of issues important to Iowans. It is safe to assume the reason these most of these issues passed the Senate with a large majority is because they are supported by a significant number of Iowans. Unfortunately, women’s health is not one of those issues that is being talked about on the Senate floor.
With that said, Senate Democrats hold the majority. This means they control the agenda and what bills are called up for debate on the Senate floor. I was pleased Senator Nancy Boettger, R-Harlan, took the time during her points of personal privilege this week to address women’s health. Senator Boettger shared a recent Des Moines Register Iowa Poll which indicates nearly 66 percent of Iowans oppose telemedicine abortions. The Iowa House passed legislation banning telemedicine abortions in this state on a Feb. 12 bipartisan vote. So far, no action has been taken in the Iowa Senate.