Founded in 2010

News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the Entire North Iowa Region

From the Desk of Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer

It seems March came in like a lion and left like a lamb! As we’re wrapping up another month at the Capitol, the sun is shining and spring temperatures have settled in. We had another successful week working for Iowans under the golden dome.
|(From Rep. Linda Upmeyer)

It seems March came in like a lion and left like a lamb! As we’re wrapping up another month at the Capitol, the sun is shining and spring temperatures have settled in. We had another successful week working for Iowans under the golden dome.

You may have already heard about the redistricting maps that were released on Thursday. The nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency (LSA) goes to work after the census every 10 years to develop Iowa’s redistricting plan. In terms of redistricting, we are the envy of many states. Iowa’s system is one that has proven to be fair, transparent and inclusive of Iowans’ input.

The map, which redraws the Congressional district lines, State Senate and State House districts, was given to Legislators on Thursday. The maps were delivered to every member promptly at 8:15 a.m. and it really is a sight to see. Every member gets a manila envelope full of information and everyone does the same thing with it. They pull out the big map, unfold it and look to see what the districts look like.

We’re still pretty early in the process, but we’re spending time looking the maps over and studying the data. The next step in the process includes getting input from Iowans. There will be public hearings across the state from April 4th through the 7th to listen to Iowans’ concerns, questions or thoughts on the newly drawn maps. Under the “Helpful Links” on the right hand side of this newsletter you will find a new link to LSA’s redistricting page.

The first date the General Assembly can vote on the maps is April 13th. If the map is not approved, the Legislature can ask the LSA to draw up another map to be considered. If the second map is not approved, a third can be drawn up. The Legislature can never revert back to a previous map ñ once they have rejected a map, it can not be reconsidered. A plan must be adopted by September 1, 2011 and signed by the Governor by September 15th. If this does not occur, the Iowa Supreme Court is given the power to create the redistricting plan. From a historical perspective, in 1981 the third plan was enacted, in 1991 the first plan was enacted, and in 2001 the second plan was enacted.

I was first elected to serve the people of Franklin, Hancock and Cerro Gordo Counties after the last redistricting ñ in the fall of 2002. By now you may have heard that the new map puts me in a different district, serving Hancock, Wright and portions of Kossuth Counties. It also lumps me in with two other representatives currently serving in the House. While we’re still looking at the new proposal, it is important to make sure that Iowans are fairly represented.

This week the House also began debating budget bills on the floor. The proposed budget plan in the House is honest, transparent and sustainable. We are committed to not spending more money than the state takes in, while providing for priority areas such as education, health and human services and public safety. We are also crafting budgets that are two-year proposals. Gov. Branstad has asked the Legislature to pass two-year budgets. Auditor Vaudt agreed that these budgets will allow for more long-term planning and better budgeting practices. We passed the Transportation and Block Grants budgets this week and will take up the remaining budgets starting on Monday.

This week the House also debated HF 657, legislation to prevent late-term abortions from being performed in the state of Iowa. As you may know, Dr. Leroy Carhart, a late-term abortionist from Nebraska has stated he will move into Council Bluffs to continue his practice after a recent change to Nebraska law forced him to stop practicing there. The citizens of Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County and Iowans from across the state have asked the legislature to act on this issue to prevent this from happening. The House passed a bill with bipartisan support to ensure Carhart and others do not come into Iowa. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.

As always, it was great to have visitors this week at the Capitol. My friend, Tyler Steinke, visited the Capitol this week for Advocating for Change Day, a day dedicated to helping Iowans with disabilities to become skilled at communicating with their state legislators. Tyler spent the day with me on the House floor and in my office. We had a great day. Two friends from Franklin County, David Wolford and Larry Sailor, also joined me on the House floor to watch debate this week.

If you will be visiting Des Moines and want to visit the Capitol, please feel free to contact me at or call my office at (515) 281-4618.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Even more news:

Copyright 2024 – Internet Marketing Pros. of Iowa, Inc.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x