By Larry Sheets, Iowa House District No. 80 representative
I’m sitting at my desk in the Iowa House Chambers in the State House.
I am so thankful to you, the people of our House District, for this opportunity to represent you.
The first week has been a learning experience similar to drinking from a fire hose!
I have been assigned to a number of committees: Economic Growth, Environmental Protection, Labor and Local Government. I am the Vice Chair of the Labor Committee. I am also assigned to the Economic Development Appropriations sub Committee. This is all very exciting.
The House chief clerk provides each representative a personal assistant called a “clerk,” but the function is more like a secretary. My clerk is Karah Kruger from Ankeny. These clerks deal with a maze of paper work and allow the representatives to focus on the deliberative functions of the Legislature.
There has been considerable pomp and circumstance in the first week. Gov. Branstad delivered the State of the State speech on Jan 15 in the House Chambers to the Joint Session. The governor wants to focus on property tax reform and an overhaul of our K-12 school system. In the governor’s speech, he emphasized the following points:
We will spend less than the state collects;
We will not use one-time money to fund on-going needs;
We will not balance the budget by intentionally underfunding programs; and
We will return unused tax dollars to Iowa’s taxpayers.
The Supreme Court Chief Justice, Mark Cady, addressed another Joint Session in the House Chambers on Jan. 16. Justice Cady stressed how important open and transparent courts are to Iowans.
The three-day weekend gave me a chance for needed rest and time to be with my family.
The second week began with numerous committee meetings and bills to consider.
I can’t help but be thankful for the trust the people of our district have shown in me. There is a concerted effort to remove or infringe on the rights of Iowans.
Our state motto is, “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.” Be certain I will support our state and federal Constitutions and stick to our motto and conform to the beliefs in our Declaration of Independence.