This week crammed a lot into a short period of time due to the snowstorm that hit the state on Thursday. On Tuesday, we debated education reform until midnight and came back on Wednesday morning for the vote. While I still prefer 4%, I’m pleased the bill included 2% allowable growth with 100% funding coming from state aid. The House version has a smaller amount of property tax relief and differs somewhat from what the Senate passed two weeks ago. The education bill now heads over to the Senate. I’m sure it will come back to us with a completely different feel, hopefully one that focuses on student achievement for all Iowa students and puts us back at the top in education. I have had terrific input on the education bill from teachers, administration, school boards, constituents, future teachers, and parents. If you have any thoughts or concerns about it, please contact me because the bill will come back to the House and it will likely change more as it goes through the process. Thanks to technology, my family was able to watch our first big debate of the year via the legislature’s website. If any of you want to follow what goes on here at the House or the Senate log on to www.legis.iowa.gov and click on the live stream video link for the respective chamber. It has been a busy week for visitors from home, which I love! On Tuesday Bob Hemesath from the Decorah area stopped by to visit with me for the Iowa Corn Growers Association. Also, we had Farm Bureau members from across Iowa visiting their Senators and Representatives. From our area, I had Tim Donlon, Matthew Emerson, Carlton Kjos, Randy Brinks, and Jim Estes all come into the House Chambers for a photo. Tim, Matthew, and Jim shared with me their legislative priorities for Farm Bureau. It was nice to see all of them. On Wednesday, the Veterinarian Association held a legislative luncheon. I had the honor of meeting Dr. Forrest Whitford of Volga and discussing their legislative priorities. Also on Wednesday, Brian Houlihan from Harpers Ferry came to the Capitol and talked with several legislators on window screen safety dealing with affordable and public housing. As always, feel free to give me a call with your suggestions and comments. You can reach me at home on weekends at 563-873-1592 or during the week at the State Capitol at 515-281-3221. I can also be reached by email anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to all who contacted me this week! Until next week!
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