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Rep. Linda Upmeyer update from the Capitol

Bills are moving along swiftly in the Iowa House. We are serious about the work Iowans sent us here to do, so we are working hard. I want to talk about two important bills this week.|(From Rep. Linda Upmeyer)

Under the Golden Dome, Too

Bills are moving along swiftly in the Iowa House. We are serious about the work Iowans sent us here to do, so we are working hard. I want to talk about two important bills this week.

House File 95 requires voters to show photo identification on Election Day in order to vote. This measure, which is a priority for the Secretary of State, will serve as a safeguard to prevent voter fraud in our state.

You are regularly required to show an ID for many reasons. House File 95 adds the same safeguard to voting. When you show up to vote on election day, they will ask to see an ID to confirm you are who you say you are. That is the only change in the process. This is a simple but significant improvement for our elections.

Voting is a right for all of those who are legally able to vote. We should do all we can to encourage Iowans to exercise their right to vote. At the same time, we must protect that right from fraud and misuse. This bill does that, without disenfranchising Iowa voters. It is an effort to enhance the integrity of elections.

The House also debated a bill that creates a searchable budget database so Iowans will be able to determine where their tax dollars are being spent and for what purpose. House File 94 will allow Iowans more access to their government and increased accountability.

The public will be able to search: name and location of the entity or recipient of state funds, amount of state funds expended, funding source, budget program or activity, purpose, expected outcome, past performance, and state audits or reporting related to the expenditure. The system will include privacy protection measures that ensure no sensitive information is compromised. Iowans deserve to know where their money is being spent and we’re shining more light on the process with this bill.

What is most exciting about creating a searchable database is that it empowers the taxpayer to help find waste and inefficiencies in State government. In states that have created similar databases, the citizens have been able to save millions of dollars. More sunshine on government activities is always a good thing.

Both of these bills passed out of the House and were sent to the Senate for them to consider.

On Thursday, Governor Branstad delivered his budget address to the General Assembly. As promised in the campaign, he makes cuts to spending to ensure we spend no more than we take in. The proposal also upholds the promise to fuel job creation through targeted cuts to commercial income and property taxes.

I am encouraged that the Governor’s proposal highlights a real commitment to bring responsibility and sustainability to the State’s finances.

It was great to see so many North Iowans this week. I had visits from the Hampton-Dumont FFA, Habitat for Humanity directors, Garner Asset and YIELD groups, NIACC students as well as other North Iowans. I always enjoy seeing friendly faces at the capitol. If you’re planning a visit, please contact my office –we can help you schedule a capitol tour or take a photo.

You can reach me at or at (515) 281-4618.

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