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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

At the mercy of nature

Friday, March 9, 2007

The severe weather which has pummeled Iowa recently is a stark reminder of just how vulnerable we all are and how often we take our blessings for granted. For cities and farms to be without power for this long demonstrates the power of nature and reminds us all that we are not always in control, even though we sometimes think we are. As of this writing, another storm is bearing down on our state. 

I pray for all of those who are traveling or stranded, and for all of those who work to keep us safe and secure. For those who toil to repair power lines and keep electricity flowing, I extend an extreme thank you. Some people, including lawmakers, will not be able to make it home this weekend. I pray for our families and for all who may end up being alone. I am sure we will survive this situation, but we are all going to have to pull together.

Next Friday is the first funnel, so quite a few bills are moving out of committee, and there will be more next week. Some legislation is being rushed through just to keep it alive, and some of it should never have been assigned to a subcommittee.

I usually like to mention a few bills which I believe qualify for the "most ridiculous" category, but it is a little early for that, as bills are still being read in and assigned. Also, I really don't consider them ridiculous, because they are obviously important to someone. There are some pieces of proposed legislation however, that cause me some concern.

The State Government Committee has discussed and passed some bills which deal with elections in Iowa. One would allow elections to take place by mail. Another would allow people to register on the same day as the election.

In other words, a person could show up at the polls, register and then vote. This really concerns me.  The opportunity for voter fraud would increase no matter how many safeguards one tries to incorporate. For the most part, we have had clean elections in Iowa. Why do we need to mess with our current system? This is what makes me suspicious. 

There are a number bills being considered by the Education Committee which should be causing concern for both schools and parents. Everything is up for debate here and that is good.

It seems to me however, that there is currently a real assault on private schools and parents of children in both public and private schools are being taken out of the educational process. There is even a bill floating around that would make it illegal to have parent-teacher conferences on election day.

The Legislature and Governor came together this week to pass and enact a disaster aid funding bill which will make assistance available to those hit by the recent storms and future disasters as well. It is nice to see that we can work together. Some Iowans really need this help, and I was happy to support it.

You may reach me at the Capitol during the week by phoning me at 515-281-3221, at home on weekends at 712-434-5880, or fax me at 712-434-2012. You may write to me at the State Capitol, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. My home address is 6144 Y Avenue, Aurelia, Iowa 51005. If you have email, please contact me at dan.huseman@legis.state.ia.us.