From Rep. Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake –
On Monday, we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day to honor a great American that dedicated his life to fighting against discrimination. As I reflected on Dr. King’ex contributions to our country, I ran across this quote from him that really stood out to me: “The time is always right to do what is right.” As legislators, we should remember the words of Dr. King and continue to do what’s right.
Even with the short week due to Monday’s holiday, we kept ourselves busy in Des Moines.
This week, the Iowa House introduced its first bills of the session and legislation will begin moving through the process of becoming law. Among them are:
- House File 1: Requires ongoing reviews of all state programs to ensure they are efficient and effective. This bill would also require reauthorization of all government programs every 5 years to make certain that programs are 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 electronic communications and data.
Our work on the state budget also continued as we look to make reductions after revenue projections were decreased last month. We hope to have this resolved as quickly as possible because each day we wait, the tougher it becomes for each department to realize savings. Once this is resolved we can get to work on other issues like funding for schools, next year’s state budget, and policies that Iowa the best place to raise a family or grow a business.
One final note. Today, I’m in Washington DC attending the Presidential Inauguration. This is the first Inauguration that I’ve had the opportunity to attend so I’m really looking forward to the experience. I’m hoping to hear a message from President-Elect Trump that calls for unity and brings people together after a very contentious election cycle. I’d also like to hear the President-Elect talk about a new federal government that will work collaboratively with the states. I’m hopeful that I’ll hear about a federal government that’s more willing to delegate responsibilities to the states to unleash their potential as laboratories of democracy.