The first week of the session was filled with pomp and circumstance. The representatives all settled in on the first day, renewed friendships and got their desks back in order. Tuesday in the first week the House hosted the Senators and convened a Joint Session to listen to Gov. Branstad present the Condition of the State address.
We ended last year in good financial condition. However, the federal government is piling on a significant load with the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) requirements that has the governor concerned. The governor’s speech was well received by all.
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Cady, was hosted by a Joint Session in the House the next day. The Chief Justice thanked both branches and the governor for the added funding of the Judicial System provided last year. The Joint Session received his speech with applause.
The Senate and House both passed resolutions addressing problems associated with federal agencies.
The first resolution was in support of the Renewable Fuel Standard. This resolution calls on the national government “to renew its commitment to farmers, lower fuel prices, and the environment by supporting a robust and sustainable renewable fuel standard.” The second resolution urges Federal Emergency Management Agency to reverse its unachievable conditions for Homeland Security and Emergency Management rural electric coops, and municipal utilities to receive storm recovery funding.
The first week ended with a snow storm that kept me in Des Moines an extra day. In the second week, the Senators and Representatives attended their respective caucuses back home. We also sponsored a House Resolution honoring 200 years of peace, prosperity and kinship between the peoples of Canada and the United States.
The second week the Iowa State Association of Counties announced their top 2014 priorities. The association’s position is supportive of the Rural Improvement Zones bill that I authored last year. With that support, and the help of Sen. Rozenboom’s companion bill in the Senate, the current poorly conceived bill may be replaced with one that allows these zones to be controlled locally.
Thank you for granting me the privilege of serving and representing you.
• Feb. 8: “Osky Eggs & Issues” at 8:30 a.m. at Smokey Row in Oskaloosa.
• Feb. 15: Legislative Coffee at 10 a.m. at 308 N. 12th St. in Centerville.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org or (641) 895-6153.