In this week’s newsletter, I would like to introduce our office page this session, Miss Katie Simpson from Spencer, Iowa. We selected Katie to serve as a leadership page this session for many reasons including her attention to detail and bright personality, and she proved to be an invaluable asset to our office. This young woman has a very bright future ahead of her, and will accomplish many things inside and outside the world of politics. I asked her to write a short summary of her time at the State Capitol:
My name is Katie Simpson and I have had an incredible experience serving as the page for Majority Leader Hagenow during the 2017 Legislative Session! I am currently a senior at Spencer High School and have lived in Spencer my entire life. After graduating in May, I will be attending Drake University in the fall with plans to pursue degrees in International Relations and International Business.
For nearly 10 years, I thought that I wanted to pursue a career in theatre. However, following the historic 2016 Presidential Election and Advanced Placement Government, I decided my true passion was government, and I began exploring ways to pursue that passion. After having conversations with my teachers and my representative, Megan Jones, I decided that I wanted to apply to become a page.
Throughout my time at the Capitol, I was responsible for many different tasks. I was blessed to have the opportunity to work closely with Rachel Zumbach, the Speaker’s Page, and some of our major responsibilities included taking photographs and writing press releases, inserting events into the social calendar, speaking with constituents, and, most importantly, keeping the office well-fed, and well-hydrated. I also enjoyed getting to know the Leader’s younger constituents including his sons, Owen and Noah, and his daughter Sophia when they would come visit their dad at the Capitol!
I would recommend becoming a page because almost everyone will work with the government in some aspect of their life. When building a house, you will have to comply with government regulations about locations and materials being used. If you go to the store to purchase clothes, you will have to pay taxes on those items. As a page, you have the opportunity to learn about how state government impacts your life. Additionally, I have been able to hone my communication skills by working with people from lobbyists, to legislators, to other pages. I have made connections with people that will help me as I continue through higher education and eventually when I am looking for a job. Finally, I want to thank Majority Leader Hagenow and his team who have made this session so wonderful!
While the current fiscal environment has made the challenging task of setting the state’s budget even more difficult than usual, House Republicans are working hard to bring all the pieces together. Despite declining growth in revenue, House Republicans are committed to passing a balanced budget that responsibly funds the priority needs of Iowans. We have made additional investments in key priorities like K-12 education and are focusing remaining available revenue on key functions of government such as public safety and justice systems.
A great deal of work needs to be done on the budget and remaining policy items before we can adjourn, but I remain optimistic that we will be able to adjourn next week.