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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Anderson Report

Thursday, February 10, 2011

State government must learn to prioritize needs

During my brief time in the State Senate, I've already witnessed some consequences of decisions made by previous legislatures.

In those situations, I reflect on the budgeting choices I've made as a husband and a father, as well as in my role as a small business owner. Our family, like many others in my district and the rest of the state and nation, are faced with a number of decisions on how and where to spend our money.

Angie and I do our best to spend wisely, purchasing what we need, while remaining mindful of the future. These are not always easy decisions, but they're necessary. We, as a state government, must learn to prioritize needs and wants just as we all do in our family and small business budgets.

However, if one were to use the Iowa Senate as an example of prudent decision making, it might seem nearly impossible. At a time when thousands of Iowans are unemployed and state government is facing a budget shortfall, the majority party has failed to take up one significant piece of legislation.

We are four weeks into the session, and we continue working only on operational items that could have passed two weeks ago.

Iowans demanded change in the November elections. Eight freshmen Republican senators are more than enough to prove that point. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats have other things in mind. It seems the status-quo continues to be good enough for the majority party.

If they were serious about trimming government and putting Iowans back to work, they would debate the Taxpayers First Act rather than block it.

To that end, with involvement from the governor's office and our colleagues in the House, we announced a major statewide "Re-Open Iowa for Business" rules and regulations tour.

The ten city tour aims to collect specific input from Iowans across the state about the onerous state rules and regulatory climate that is hurting job creation, and keeping employers from locating or expanding in Iowa. The tour will be in Sioux City on Friday, Feb. 25 at 10:30 a.m. on the Morningside College campus (UPS Auditorium).

This week the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Iowa Marriage Amendment with bi-partisan support. All Republicans and some Democrats in the House recognized that when there's fundamental disagreement between the three branches of government, the final decision should be given directly to the people of this state.

Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and the other members of his party in the Senate continue to obstruct a vote of the people.

They do not believe the voters of Iowa should be able to weigh in on this important issue. In fact, several were quoted this week in the Des Moines Register as saying they would rather remain loyal to Gronstal even if that means going against the wishes of their constituents back home. I believe our loyalty is to the people of this state

As always thank you for giving me this honor and opportunity to serve as your senator. Please feel free to contact me with questions, comments and ideas.

You may reach me at 712-898-2505 or send an email to bill.anderson@legis.state.ia.us. If you would like to be added to my email list send me your contact information. Until next time, have a great week!