Four days down, 106 to go. This first week was full of the traditions, seeing old friends and making new ones. I have to admit, I think I am becoming a sucker for traditions—the little things, like how we establish rules and take oaths. This year, I had the unique opportunity and privilege of being the Chief Teller for the Iowa Senate as we canvassed November’s gubernatorial vote.
That aside, the 2011 session began with optimism about the future of our state and a renewed commitment to helping Iowans recover from the lingering national recession.
I know that every legislator feels a strong sense of responsibility and challenge. Iowans are looking to us to help improve the economy and create much-needed jobs. Until Iowa has fully recovered from the national recession, that will be my number one priority.
What we do this session will affect – positively or negatively – Iowa’s business climate. That’s why I’ll work to avoid any distractions to improving Iowa’s economy. I’m confident we’ll make progress.
I’m especially interested in helping our small businesses grow, making it easier for workers to improve their skills and expanding industries that show great promise for Iowa’s future.
That means the Legislature must consider ways to strengthen small businesses and encourage job creation on Main Street, not Wall Street.
We must continue to expand Iowa’s clean energy economy, a source of good wages and economic advantage now and for years to come.
We must continue to reform, downsize and streamline state government. We took giant steps during the 2010 session, which made it possible for us to balance the state budget without raising taxes. We’ll take that same approach this year.
And we must protect our quality of life. Our state is a wonderful place to live and do business, and I want to keep it that way. Every Iowa child now has access to high-quality preschool. We lead the nation in children’s health care. We have great local schools. And we’re building strong community college partnerships with local employers that give Iowa workers the skills to take on good jobs in their communities.
By listening to constituents and working together over the next four months, we can continue to build on these successes, help our state recover from the national recession and prosper once again.
Keep in touch while I’m at the Statehouse
My number one job as your state senator is to represent you, so please contact me this session if you have something you’d like to share.
You can always call me at the Statehouse during the week at 515-281-3371, or e-mail me at email@example.com. On weekends, I can be reached at home at 641-673-0359.
I also encourage you to join me at local forums and listening posts. It’ll give us a chance to talk face-to-face about current issues before the Legislature, as well as your ideas and concerns.
If you’re looking for more information, please check out my official Web site, www.senate.iowa.gov/Rielly
By staying in touch this session, we can continue working together to move Iowa forward!
This is a legislative update from Senator Tom Rielly, representing Iowa, Poweshiek, and Keokuk counties, and portions of Mahaska and Tama counties.
Senator Rielly is chair of the Transportation Committee and vice-chair of the Commerce Committee. He also serves on the Agriculture, Economic Growth, and Local Government committees.
State Senator Tom Rielly