As the sun came up on Saturday morning, April 22nd, we concluded our work for the 2017 legislative session. During the final days, we set the state budget for Fiscal Year 2018 and considered remaining policy items such as water quality and access to medical cannabidiol for many sick and suffering Iowans.
I am proud of everything House Republicans were able to accomplish this year. We set out in January with a bold agenda and tackled many tough issues this session. It was an honor to serve again as House Majority Leader and I appreciate all of the support and input from my constituents along the way.
On the final day of session, I delivered an abbreviated version of the following remarks on the House floor. You can read my closing comments in their entirety below:
Thank you, Madam Speaker, Ladies and Gentlemen of the House.
Each year, we convene at the Statehouse to do the work of the people. Our constituents send us here to be their voice and make Iowa a better place to work, live, and raise a family. They expect us to work hard, work together, and move our state forward. The people of this great state do not send us here to maintain and protect the status quo.
This session, House Republicans did what we said we would do. We listened, we made adjustments, and most importantly, we let the legislative process work. We advanced bold legislation that balances the scales in a number of areas and creates greater opportunities for all Iowans.
Before this session even began, House Republicans were hard at work on managing what would be a difficult budget year. Slower than anticipated revenue growth presented a challenge, but we have once again passed a balanced budget that funds the priority needs of Iowans. I am proud of all of the hard work and long hours many of you invested in crafting the budget bills we passed this week. You were handed a difficult task, and, as always, you did an outstanding job.
In my opening day remarks, I spoke about empowering Iowa’s business and industry by freeing our economy from over-regulation. In light of the state’s current fiscal situation, this is more important than ever and I believe we did a lot to accomplish that this session.
This year, with a new majority in the Senate, House Republicans were able to make significant progress to defend unborn life. I am proud to lead a pro-life caucus that uniformly believes every life is worth protecting.
Each session, I am reminded just how many people it takes to keep this building open and functioning. There are so many people who play an important role and deserve thanks for everything they do.
For me personally, some of the most memorable experiences this session will never appear in the journal, were not debated on the floor, and will go unnoticed by many. Through triumph and tragedy, some of the finest people I have ever known have sacrificed and persevered to continue doing the work of the people of Iowa.
No words in a speech will ever express my gratitude for Zach and Liddy. I have been truly blessed to go on this journey with you.
Madam Speaker, thank you for guiding us through another successful session. Your leadership has been invaluable. To the House Republican caucus, thank you for giving me the privilege of serving as your leader this year. It has been one of the greatest honors of my life.
My wife Amanda is the one worthy of the most appreciation and praise. Thank you to Owen, Noah, and Sophia for their love and encouragement. Together, you have made everything possible this year.
Thank you Madam Speaker.