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Rep. Linda Upmeyer: “A Monumental Session” in the Iowa legislature

This news story was published on April 24, 2017.
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From Rep. Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake –

Rep. Linda Upmeyer

We capped off an incredible session early Saturday morning after spending 103 days doing the work of Iowans. The majority of our work in the last few days focused on finalizing the state budget and wrapping up the remaining policy bills.

While most departments and agencies in state government saw budget reductions, we made sure to keep a balanced budget, while investing in priorities, and protecting essential government services. Here are some of our priorities in next year’s state budget:

Investing in K-12 schools: This budget plan fully funds the additional $40 million that we promised to K-12 schools earlier this session. It’s clear that K-12 education will be receiving the largest funding increase in all areas of government.

Supporting Iowa’s workforce and community colleges: This budget plan makes an additional investment in Iowa’s community college system of $1.6 million. Local community colleges play a vital role in educating Iowa’s workforce all across the state. Schools work with community colleges to offer students college-level coursework, young people attend community colleges for affordable education, and businesses rely on community colleges for job and skills training. An additional $250,000 is being provided for STEM to build a stronger 21st century workforce.

Protecting public safety: The budget plan provides an additional $1 million to the Iowa State Patrol to hold an academy and hire more troopers. More troopers on Iowa’s highways will improve emergency response times and provide a higher level of safety for motorists and passengers.

Ensuring access to justice: Iowa’s Judicial Branch will see no reductions in next year’s budget. Ensuring that Iowans have access to the courts is one of the key functions of government.

Below you can find my closing remarks that I prepared for the members of the Iowa House on our final day of session:
Go ahead and sit back in your seats ladies and gentlemen. I started with a short speech, but I was just handed 10 additional pages of comments from Rep. Heaton and Rep. Worthan.

This was a session in which we all came in a little unsure of how to read the message from the election. What seemed clear however, is that voters were tired of the status quo and they weren’t very interested in shoulder shrugs or finger-pointing from their representatives.

Voters wanted government to get work done and to work on their behalf. In short, the message from Iowans is that they wanted a better deal.

We took that to heart and while congress still looks like a pickup truck stuck in mud, we rolled our sleeves up and got to work.

Rather than being restrained by tradition or status quo, we accepted the challenge of doing the hard things.

We addressed budget shortfalls in January with thoughtful adjustments in spending. We didn’t use gimmicks to shift spending and we didn’t do clumsy across the board cuts that would have slashed school funding and jeopardized critical services.

The budget didn’t get any easier from there, but we signed up for a tough job, and Iowans expect us to take on those difficult tasks.

Vice President Biden is often quoted in this chamber for saying, “Show me your budget and I’ll show you your priorities.”

True words… and in the face of budget shortfalls, I am proud that Iowans can see our priorities.

They will see that above all, we are investing in our children’s education. They will see that we are investing in public safety. They will see that we are investing in our middle class through workforce training and our incredible community colleges.

We came here to give Iowans a better deal, and we delivered.

In education, we dedicated $40 million in additional money to K-12 education at a time when the budget is shrinking.

For the first time in years, the conversation on education expanded beyond the school aid number. One-size does not fit all for our communities and their schools. We listened to school districts and gave them flexibility to use their funds to address their specific needs. We empowered them to enact policies that fit their needs and to innovate by giving schools home rule authority.

Thanks to the work we have done here, those in our communities and those in the classroom are being empowered to offer our children the world-class education they deserve.

The taxpayers of Iowa got a better deal this year. With collective bargaining reform their tax dollars can be used more effectively. Good employees can be rewarded, we will no longer make the taxpayers of Iowa responsible for collecting unions dues, and taxpayers will no longer be treated like an unlimited source of income for salaries and benefits.

This is just the start of a conversation however. Our tax system is overbearing, over-complicated, and uncompetitive. Our top personal income tax rate is the fourth highest in the country. Our corporate income tax rate is the highest in the nation.

Iowans deserve a better deal!

We should put everything on the table and focus on reform that makes our tax system fairer and simpler.

How about this for a better deal? Less tax breaks for the few and well-connected, and in its place lower taxes for all Iowans!

I am committed to making Iowa the best place to raise a family and grow a business. I know those are shared goals in this chamber.

Now for a few thanks yous…

First of all, I want to thank the House Republican caucus – All session long you had the resilience to step up and do what is right for our state. It’s an honor to be a part of your caucus and I thank you for trusting me as your Speaker.

Thank you to the Leadership team: Matt, Zach, Jarad, John, Megan, and Mike. I appreciate all the work that you do to serve our caucus.

Majority Leader Hagenow – Thank you for all of your work this year. Many of the bold reforms and initiatives that we took on this session would not have been possible without your unwavering commitment to the State of Iowa. I appreciate both your leadership as well as your friendship.

Minority Leader Smith – thank you for working with us when you could. Though there are issues we may never agree on, we do take your input seriously and try to work with you when we can.

Thank you to the leadership staff: Tony, Colin, Zach, Liddy and Terri.

And, in my opinion, the premier caucus staff in the building – the House Republican Caucus staff: Jeff, Brad, Lew, Jason, Kristi, Amanda, Carrie, Brittany, Mackenzie and Ashley. Thank you for your hard work and the timely and reliable information you provide day in and day out.

To Rachel, who has sat by my side all session as the Speaker’s page, thank you for keeping me focused during debate and for all of your work this year. Thank you to the Katie as well, who has done an equally fantastic job this session.

Thank you to our legislative pages this year, who I’m confident all have very bright futures ahead.

Chief Clerk Boal, thank you to both you and your staff. The work you all do is never given the amount of appreciation it deserves, but without all of you, this place would not operate as efficiently as it does.

Thank you to the LSA staff for all of your hard work. Especially the time and effort put in by each of you over these past few weeks.

Thank you to President Whitver and Majority Leader Dix. It’s nice to finally have a partner in the Senate that shares a bold, break the status quo vision for the State of Iowa. It’s an honor to lead this General Assembly with both of you.

A special thank you to Governor Branstad. Your decades of service to the people of Iowa have prepared you for your next assignment as Ambassador to China. While Iowans will be losing a tremendous leader, Americans will be well served with you leading our diplomatic efforts in China.

And finally, I want to thank and congratulate Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds as you ascend into the Governor’s office. I look forward to working with you next session to move Iowa forward

Iowans can be proud of this session and the work we accomplished this year.

Now, let’s go home, listen, and lay the foundation for another great session next year!

Thank you all for your work this year!
As we come to a close on the session, I can’t help but think about how historic it has been. We passed many bold reforms and initiatives that will ultimately move Iowa forward and grow our state. I’m proud of the work we accomplished this year and I thank all the members of the Legislature who dedicated their time to making Iowa a better place for Iowa families and businesses.

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10 Responses to Rep. Linda Upmeyer: “A Monumental Session” in the Iowa legislature

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 26, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Bodie – She gets her votes from the public servant sector of which 96% voted for the democratic bitch Hillary Clinton in the last election – look it up snowflake ! You liberals lie about everything and are world renowned for your fake news bullshit.

    • Avatar

      bodacious Reply Report comment

      April 26, 2017 at 11:28 pm

      Do you even know who you are talking about? Linda Upmeyer, Speaker of the House? Republican? Pushed through a bill stripping all sorts of bargaining rights from those same public servants you say voted her in???? The one who didn’t get a single vote from those liberals? I love your fake news comment. Very Donaldish.

    • Avatar

      bodacious Reply Report comment

      April 26, 2017 at 11:41 pm

      Do you even know who we are talking about? Linda Upmeyer. The Majority Leader of the Iowa House? The person who horse-whipped any Democrat who dared question what was happening in the House? the Republican? The one who rushed a bill stripping those same public servants of most of their bargaining rights? That’s gratitude for you.
      I’d bet that Linda didn’t get a single vote from one of those ‘dang librals’ you just insulted.

      • Avatar

        bodacious Reply Report comment

        April 27, 2017 at 7:16 pm

        I kind of figured you wouldn’t reply. It’s embarrassing when you’re wrong.

  2. Avatar

    Just My Opinion Reply Report comment

    April 25, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Linda Upmeyer, do you realize that 3% THC will not help anyone with severe pain? It’s no better than a placebo. Why can’t you see that people in Iowa need real help? Hopefully an amendment will be added next session that allows people to use the real stuff. Just what are you afraid of?!?

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 25, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      If you need it so bad why don’t you just take the pill that is available with a prescription and has been available for a long time. Can it be you just want to do something illegal with the oil?

      • Avatar

        Just My Opinion Reply Report comment

        April 26, 2017 at 11:57 am

        If the pill really worked (which it doesn’t) do you think people would be fighting so hard to get medical cannabis legalized? You’re obviously one of those ignorant Trump supporters.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          April 28, 2017 at 9:10 am

          You are obviously a Brain Dead, Pot Head Druger who doesn’t think the FDA knows what it is doing.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 25, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Flashed through article – seen schools – stopped reading – this women is owned by the public servants union. Where’s a scrap for the old beaten down private citizen – all crap – not as bad as california but still sucks and the economy is still getting worse if your in the private sector and not subsidized by big brother mafia . Welfare rules – just ask the farmers.

    • Avatar

      bodacious Reply Report comment

      April 25, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      This woman is owned by “public servants union”? what have you been smoking? This ‘woman’ is owned by the Koch brothers and ALEC. She doesn’t care about you or the public servants. What “scrap” would you like Linda to throw you? Tax reform? Can’t do that because the budgets too tight but maybe we will tackle it next year. Oh wait, the budget’s gonna be tight then too. She is just like our President who seems to be on your side until it comes down to push and shove. Then, she (and the Don) is on the side of corporate America.