After nearly six weeks, the Iowa Senate finally began some serious work on what was supposed to be major legislation. Unfortunately, that just wasn't the case.
This just proves how little Democrats learned from the November elections. Iowans from across our state made it clear that they wanted the cost and size of government reduced. In an effort to do the will of everyday Iowans, Senate Republicans introduced several amendments that were meant to expand the scope of HF 45. I had the honor of introducing an amendment to add the Taxpayer Relief Fund to the bill. The Taxpayer Relief Fund would require all remaining revenue, after the two reserve accounts are full, to be placed into the fund. Legislators would no longer be able to spend remaining revenue on superfluous projects. However, Senate Democrats voted this and all but one Republican amendment down. If we want to get serious about reducing the size of Iowa's debt and cutting the burdensome taxes placed on Iowans, we have to talk about more than $10 million dollars.
On Wednesday, I had the pleasure to attend Major General Timothy Orr's Condition of the National Guard Address. Major General Orr and the rest of the National Guard should be commended for their duties in keeping Iowa and our state safe. Guardsmen and woman have gone above and beyond the call of duty, and Iowa's retention rate for members has stayed high despite our involvement in two wars.
I had the opportunity this week to manage my first bill through the subcommittee process. I was named chair of Senate Study Bill 1098, which deals with the reporting of damages to new vehicles. If the bill is passed out of committee next week, I will be the floor manager meaning I will be able to introduce the bill on the floor of the Senate and bring it to a vote.
Also this week I was able to attend a meeting with Chuck Palmer, the Director of Human Services. The meeting was filled with good news. The Cherokee Mental Health Institute will remain fully funded through fiscal year 2012. All of the beds in the Institute will be kept. Furthermore, the clinic will be able to continue employing all 157 employees as well as add an additional 5 employees. CMHI had been in line for a severe cut to its budget, but we were able to retain the funding and keep CMHI operating normally.
As always I want to thank you again for giving me the 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 email@example.com. Please forward my newsletter on to your family and friends. If you would like to be added to my email list send me your contact information. Until next time, have a great week.