On Monday, we celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The day off gave us a chance to reflect on the first week of session and gear up for week two. Even with a shortened week, we were able to make serious progress on budget negotiations and other key policy discussions. I also spent a considerable amount of time meeting with individuals and organizations about their legislative priorities.
House Republicans also remain committed to passing Supplemental School Aid in the first 30 days of session. We want to act quickly and thoughtfully to give school districts a number they can count on. In order to accomplish this, we must first remedy a $117 million budget shortfall for the current fiscal year due to slowing revenue growth. We are required by law to balance the books before we can begin appropriating money for the next fiscal year. This is a principle Iowa families and businesses have to work and live by and state government is no different.
While this shortage is minor compared to the nearly billion dollar deficit we faced when Republicans took control of the House in 2010, it still requires a targeted, thoughtful approach to ensure minimal impact on services. There are ways to make responsible reductions, find efficiencies and duplication, and shrink government in the process.
To that end, here are some other important bills we’ve been working on this week:
House File 1
Establishes an ongoing review of all state programs to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. This bill would also require reauthorization of all government programs every 5 years to make certain that programs are still needed and serving their intended purpose.
House File 3
Limits the government’s ability to enact burdensome occupational licensing barriers that make it harder for Iowans to work in certain jobs and careers.
House File 20
Protects Iowa’s students from sexual exploitation by a school employee.
House File 28
Requires high schools to teach financial literacy courses to better prepare Iowa’s students following graduation. These types of classes will promote important skills and concepts for adult life like money management, college planning, savings and investments, credit and debt, and insurance coverage.
House Joint Resolution 1
Protects the privacy and liberty of Iowans by extending Fourth Amendment protections to Iowans’ electronic communications and data.
House Republicans will continue to be focused on protecting Iowa taxpayers and finding ways to help grow Iowa's economy. As always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas. Please contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.