Back to the Capitol

As the week started, the drive to Des Moines was treacherous, and the weather reminded us all we live in Iowa. I saw emergency responders at work in the multi-car pile-up on the I-80/I-235 mix-master.

Now that we are in the second week, we’ve started our work in subcommittee and committee. I intend to just highlight the larger issues and priorities of the week’s activities.

Tuesday in the Judiciary Committee we passed SF 2051, which was a patch to the omnibus gun bill from one year ago allowing peace officers, reserve peace officers, and federal officers to carry and transport weapons on school grounds.

In the joint committee of Agriculture and Natural Resources, we had a presentation delivered by professors from the Regent universities pertaining to water quality initiatives and joint research projects.

Wednesday was Iowa Veterans Day at the Capitol and I had the opportunity to meet with veterans from my district as well as the IVH Commandant Timon Oujiri. It was such an honor to talk to these individuals and hear their stories. I intend to continue working with veterans on the issues they deem important.

For those who came to visit, I appreciate you coming to the state capitol and taking the time to discuss the important ways we can help those who protected us and served our country. To the men and women who have served or are currently serving, I want to sincerely thank you for your courage and patriotism. If you have questions about veteran benefits in Iowa, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thursday was a busy day. I had multiple subcommittees on a wide variety of bills. In the bipartisan subcommittee process, it is important to find out as many facts about the bills as possible. This is the start of good policy making.

I had two subcommittees in particular on education issues this week. One was regarding tenure at universities and how it could relate to any potential increases in tuition for Iowa students. The other was regarding the Department of Education and ensuring they are doing everything the Legislature has asked them to do. I believe both these bills are important starts to an open conversation and discussion about how we can make positive changes to education in our state.

As the week rolls to a close, here are some of the upcoming priorities. I will be touring a mental health center over the weekend to gather more information as we press forward on modernizing the mental health system.

Next week we will be continuing budget adjustments to ensure we treat the state budget like you treat your family budget. We will also be working toward the passage of a sustained water quality initiative.

As I finalize this newsletter I see the welcome sun shining through the window and can’t wait to get back outside to feel the 40 degree weather.

——–

State Sen. Jeff Edler can be reached at (641) 751-5902 or jeff.edler@legis.iowa.gov