The Senate gaveled in on Thursday of last week to consider two appropriations bills and a handful of bills returned from the House. It doesn't appear that the decision makers are any closer to a consensus as we complete the 18th week of the 2011 General Assembly. I know this has become a reoccurring theme in my newsletter, but it is our reality.
It is uncertain when the session will end. However, I can tell you this, the Senate will be in session this week to consider the Democrat's "certificate of need" bill which is their attempt at addressing late-term abortion. I am deeply disappointed that Senate Democrats are playing political games with the vitally important late-term abortion ban. The Senate Republicans, with two Democrats, submitted a withdraw petition to bring the late-term abortion ban to the floor. The Senate Democrats killed the bi-partisan legislation. The so called "certificate of need" legislation could potentially open our state up to becoming a nationwide haven for late-term abortions.
We have long said this debate is not just about keeping one abortionist out of Council Bluffs -- it is about protecting the innocent lives of unborn Iowans in every community.
I believe it is wrong for majority party to continue to obstruct a vote and stand in the way of meaningful Senate debate on this issue and we will continue to demand an up or down vote on a late-term abortion ban this session.
If the majority party opts to listen to the citizens of Iowa and allows a vote on a late-term abortion ban, it will pass the Senate with strong bi-partisan support.
Governor Branstad this week received notification that President Obama has authorized a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for six counties impacted by severe storms, tornadoes, and straight-line winds that occurred on April 9 and 10, 2011.
The declaration by the President will provide federal funding to Buena Vista, Cherokee, Ida, Monona, Pocahontas, and Sac counties under the Public Assistance Program. Public Assistance program funds are available to public entities and select nonprofit agencies to rebuild damaged infrastructure that may include roads, bridges, culverts, and other public facilities, and to cover costs of emergency work and debris removal during the storms.
Thank you for giving me the great honor of serving you in the Iowa Senate. Please feel free to call on me with your questions, comments and ideas. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 712-898-2505. Please forward my newsletter on to family and friends. Until next time, have a great week.