The following is a legislative update from Democratic Rep. Sharon Steckman, who represents the middle third of Cerro Gordo county:
This week certainly started out differently for me. I usually return to Des Moines on Sunday afternoon so that I can spend some time in the House Chamber catching up on emails, writing notes and preparing for the week. It will not surprise you to learn that I did not attempt to make the drive this past Sunday. In fact, I was packed and ready to go Monday a.m. but could not leave until I35 was finally opened shortly after 12:00. I made it in time to grab my file and dash into my Education Committee at 3:00.
I would like to take you on a walk with me through a typical day at the Statehouse: Wednesday, February 27.
The first thing I did when reaching my desk at 7:30 was to check to see if there was anything urgent I needed to attend to; initialed a bill that I was sponsoring so that it will move forward. I checked the calendar to see what groups were downstairs in the rotunda (I like to stop by the various tables to talk with Iowans about their particular causes and issues.) On Wednesday, Blank Children’s Hospital, the Iowa Honey Producers and Orchard Place were in the rotunda area. Pictured below are some of the people I talked to.
At 9:00, I met with the our caucus leaders, a few committee ranking members and the House Democratic staff to discuss hiring and other issues important to the minority party. I then visited with several different legislators concerning bills they were working on that were of special interest to me.
John Lee, Government teacher at MCHS, brought some of his students to the Statehouse to make a presentation to the Judiciary subcommittee in support of the bill that was being discussed (HF 408). I was so proud of them! The bill was supported by the subcommittee and will now move on to the full Judiciary Committee.
At noon, I attended a subcommittee meeting to which I had been assigned -HF 444. it would require that all school buildings in the state “conspicuously” display the national motto “In God We Trust”. None of the three members agreed to sign off on the bill. As soon as that was done, I joined a “Lunch & Learn” in which the SAVE bill (Extending the one-cent sales tax that supports Education) was discussed.
1:00 p.m. – it was time to attend the Natural Resources standing committee meeting, during which we discussed and passed four bills. I had an hour between my two committees during which I initialed another bill that I was sponsoring; talked to a few people, and then went to Education where we discussed and passed ….bills out of committee. At 4:00, we Democrats that serve on the State Government committee caucused in order to discuss the bill on Sports Betting that will come before that committee when it meets tomorrow.
After that meeting ended, I joined a few of my fellow legislators in making some phone calls back to our constituents and we enjoyed having dinner together. Then…home to the rental that I share with three other women and collapsed into bed in order to rise and shine again tomorrow!