Guest Columns
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City officials in Davenport have managed to accomplish the impossible this year: They have brought Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature together to agree on something. more
Things are starting to wrap up at the capitol as we end the session, and the House of Representatives is busy working on the budget for the 2025 Fiscal Year. more
As week 13 comes to a close I find myself with a growing appreciation for my opportunity to live here in Iowa, not to mention the great honor of serving you all in the Iowa House. more
The 13th week of the 2024 Legislative Session brought more bills to the House floor. As chairman of the House Appropriation Committee, I received our budget targets for this session. We will soon begin building the budget for the State of Iowa. more
The 13th week of the legislative session involved a lot of debate, finding an agreement on the state budget, and confirming governor appointees. Bills of note include: more
As a kid have you ever wanted to get something expensive but your parents say, “No,” or “pay for it yourself.” more
This session, the House passed House File 2554 which is based on some of the recommendations provided to update Iowa’s energy laws. Over the summer, the legislature required a full review of Iowa’s utilities and ratemaking processes. This was the first comprehensive review done in 20 years, and a lot has changed in that time in the energy sector. more
On March 28, Senate Republicans released the total general fund spending goal for next year. The general fund target of $8.872 billion is a 3.74 percent increase over FY 2024. It includes the increase of $172 million in funding for public K-12 schools and minimum starting teacher pay approved earlier this week in HF 2612 and $51.25 million in new money for ESAs for a total $223.2 million in new money for K-12 education. more
Last week we took action on two major pieces of legislation – combating illegal immigration and fighting against eminent domain abuse. more
Changes to Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs) have been a central focus of many Iowans this year. The reality is this - the status quo of Iowa’s special education system is not good enough, and something has to change. It is not just the legislature that thinks so. The federal government has designated our state as “needs improvement” and is starting in-state monitoring this fall. more
I wanted to begin the column by thanking all of the citizens who attended my Listening Posts and forums this year. We held over 12 events in three different counties. Of course, you always have the occasional person there who wants to score political points through disruption or a litany of loaded questions but the overwhelming majority of people were thoughtful concerned citizens with great ideas! Thank you. I learn from these experiences. more
Iowans found their way back to the state’s 19 casinos in February, as gaming tax payments rebounded from January’s dip. more
Our second legislative deadline has passed, which means we had another busy week working on moving House bills through the Iowa Senate. Policy bills are required at this time to be through a committee in the opposite chamber to be considered for the rest of the legislative session. more
Last week, the House of Representatives had a busy week of debate. more
The Iowa House unanimously passed House File 2581, a bill to make changes to the Iowa One Call system. Iowa One Call is the 8-1-1 phone number that Iowans call before they dig to ensure that underground utilities are not harmed. The Iowa One Call system currently processes over 540,000 tickets and coordinates more than 2.7 million locate requests per year throughout Iowa. more
Republicans in the Iowa Legislature say they don’t want politics in your kid’s classroom. But that’s not true. They don’t mind politics in your kid’s classroom—as long as it’s their politics. more
Last week was filled with idea exchange, constituent input and debate/decision, below are the detailed  results of that work along with a few additional highlights of activities in committee. more
Our second legislative deadline for this year’s legislative session is getting closer. The eighth week of the session focused on debate, as well as starting our work on the bills we’ve received from the House of Representatives. more
The Iowa Senate concluded our first big deadline of the session, and last week we focused on floor debate. In between debates, I had the opportunity to meet with AEA members to continue the discussion about the proposed legislation. more
On Feb. 19, the Iowa House of Representatives started debate, and I managed a bill on the floor that I introduced this session, House File 2249. more
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