Under the Golden Dome, Too

The 2014 legislative session has officially kicked off and I am excited to get back to work on your behalf. It is a privilege to continue to represent and serve you in the Iowa House.

                In addition to committees beginning their work, this week was also a week of speeches on the House floor. As Majority Leader, I have the honor of delivering remarks during the session’s opening ceremonies.

                As I stated in my speech, after spending time traveling around our state, there is something on Iowans’ minds that I would challenge my colleagues in the Legislature to seriously consider. There is increasing concern that gridlock has taken hold in Washington, D.C. What was once an effective legislative process has instead devolved into crisis management, unable to escape a campaign mentality.

                With public confidence in the federal government at an all-time low, it is a credit to the work done by the Iowa House, Senate, and Governor Branstad that Iowans do have confidence in their state government.

                In Iowa, we still put people before politics. We still come together and get our work done. We still hold ourselves accountable. When we say that we are going to let Iowa taxpayers keep more of their money, we do it. When we commit to common sense budget principles, we follow them. We work hard to deliver on our promises.

                As we move forward, we will focus on policies that increase opportunities for low-income Iowans to find high-paying careers. We’ll continue to focus on ways to produce a world-class workforce. We’ll work to make a college degree more affordable and skills training more accessible. That is a job-growth agenda. It is an agenda that will promote a strong middle class and makes the dream of upward mobility and opportunity a more likely one for all Iowans.

                To view my comments in their entirety, visit www.iowahouserepublicans.com.

                The Governor also addressed Iowans this week as he delivered his annual Condition of the State on Tuesday. Not only did the Governor discuss his policy priorities, but also presented his budget. I want to compliment Governor Branstad on providing us with his budget recommendations on only the second day of session. By Iowa law, the Governor actually has 30 days after the start of session to present his budget proposal.

                We are currently reviewing the Governor’s budget recommendations and look forward to working with him and the Senate to reach final agreement. Have no doubt that we will continue to stick to our budgeting principles that have worked so well over the past three years.

                We also heard from Chief Justice Mark Cady as he delivered the annual Condition of the Judiciary address on Wednesday. I appreciated hearing about the Iowa Supreme Court’s efforts to improve technology and increase efficiency and transparency in our court system. Iowa will be the first paperless court system in the nation.

                If you are planning a trip to the Capitol in the coming months, I would love to see you! Feel free to contact me anytime at linda.upmeyer@legis.iowa.govor 515-281-4618 to schedule a visit or to make me aware of any issues you care about.