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Encouraged by governor’s initiatives

Ihope this finds you all well and healthy. Our state has been through a number of unique challenges since my last newsletter and I am proud of Iowa’s determination to persevere and rise above the derecho and all the complications from the pandemic.

The Legislature has officially started it’s 89th General Assembly and I am encouraged by the initiatives of Governor Reynolds:

Expanding broadband will be a topic for the legislature again this session. We have been working on this issue for several years but it’s not something that can be done in a year or two. There is definitely a sense of urgency due to more Iowans working from home and more students attending classes virtually. The governor’s proposal included an investment of $150 million every year for the next three years.

Focusing on the future of Iowa children is a top priority. We will work diligently to ensure students have the option to be back in the classroom safely and 100 percent of the time to receive the education parents pay for and the students deserve.

Throughout the pandemic it has been abundantly clear that mental health, telehealth and supporting our health care systems are vital to support the well-being of Iowans. The governor’s proposal included an investment of $15 million every year for the next two years.

On Wednesday of this week, Chief Justice Christensen gave her State of the Judiciary speech. Her remarks hit home with me since we have an aligned area of focus. Chief Justice Christensen has a focus on child welfare and trying to create the most productive environment for families in need.

General Corell commented on the Condition of Iowa’s National Guard. The National Guard plays and will continue to play a very important role in responding to Iowa’s natural disasters, the pandemic, as well as the overseas deployments to keep America safe. Thank you to our service men and women!

Many things are different in the Iowa Senate this year because of the pandemic. One tradition that remained the same in 2021 are opening remarks on the first day of the legislative session from the Senate Majority Leader and President of the Iowa Senate. Senator Jack Whitver has been our Majority Leader since 2018 and our new President of the Iowa Senate is Jake Chapman. Whitver’s remarks focused on rebuilding the economy in the wake of the pandemic:

“The best recovery plan is a job. This recovery plan means sticking to those same principles guiding us for the last several years. It means freedom to work. It means continuing our work on tax reform, and putting more money back into the pockets of Iowans. It means ensuring the best education for Iowa students, in the classroom, where they learn best.”

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