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Cornfields, Common Sense and Community

January 30, 2019
By State Senator Jeff Edler - R-State Center , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

In the Legislature

This week was the first week of the 88th General Assembly and the first week of the 2019 legislative session. We heard from Governor Kim Reynolds as she gave the Condition of the State, as well as speeches from Chief Justice Mark Cady on the judiciary and General Timothy Orr on the state of the guard. We also heard speeches from Majority Leader Jack Whitver and Senate President Charles Schneider.

The first week is a busy week for us as we prepare our committees for the work ahead of us, continue work on policy proposals, and talk to constituents about what they expect to see from us this year. We've already had many groups come visit at the Capitol and talk about what they would like to see this year.

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State Senator Jeff Edler

We had committee meetings this week to meet members who may be new to our committee and meet those members new to the Iowa Senate.

We have all been getting a number of emails from constituents asking questions about issues they may be hearing in the news or concerns and questions they have. I'm excited to be back at the state Capitol and ready to get back to work on an agenda to make our state the best place to live and work.

Looking At The Priorities

Governor Reynolds laid out a plan in the Condition of the State address Tuesday including nearly $111 million in new money to go toward education, which includes K-12 schools and the regent universities. The governor also wants to allocate resources toward STEM investments and workforce for the Future Ready Iowa program passed last session.

Mental health is a topic that is concerning to all of us at the Statehouse. The governor said she will ask the legislature for an $11 million mental health investment for the adult system, and allocate $3 million to help train teachers to recognize early signs of mental illness.

The Senate, House, and Governor Reynolds agree in order to continue to attract job creators and more people to Iowa to work and raise a family, it is important to invest in rural Iowa. In her speech, she proposed improving broadband infrastructure over the next two years with a $10 million allocation annually over that period.

Governor Reynolds closed her speech talking about the importance of second chances. She wishes to restore voting rights to felons as well as train inmates and equip them with a skill in order to help improve their lives.

Governor Reynolds laid the outline of her priorities. It is now time to work with Governor Reynolds and the House to accomplish the priorities in a fiscally responsible manner.

As we get started on this legislative session and working on our proposals, please feel free to email me or contact me about questions or concerns you may have.



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