School shooting no place for political points

Last week, there was a tragic shooting outside of East High School. One student died and two others were seriously injured. Six other young people were arrested and charged with first degree murder.

This week, Governor Reynolds spoke out on the event for the first time, and she placed the blame for the shooting on the school system. She stated “The tragedy is our educational system is letting these kids down. They should have been in school. We should be figuring out resources to help them stay there.”

As an educator, as a parent, as an Iowan and as a politician, I am shaken that the governor would use this tragedy as a political talking point. The tragedy is that a young man was killed, others injured and others face possible incarceration for murder. The governor is using this tragedy to vilify public school teachers and staff and drive Iowans apart. Shame on her.

This week was the second funnel week at the Statehouse. There were many committee meetings and debates. These are some of the bills that did not make the funnel and are most likely “dead” for this year.

Putting teachers and librarians in jail (SF 2364), letting politicians dictate discussion in social studies classrooms (HF 2053), cameras in every classroom (HF 2177), adding “immunization status” to protected classes under Iowa Civil Rights protections (HF 2141), prohibiting law enforcement from enforcing federal gun laws like background checks (HF 2303), prohibiting employers from asking about vaccinations (HF 2545), limiting solar energy growth in Iowa (SF 2127), limiting ability of Iowans to donate land for natural resources (SF 2312).

Some bills moving forward are: improving newborn screening (SF 2345), expanding dairy production in Iowa (SF 2290/HtF 2433), expanding industrial hemp production in Iowa (SF 2110/HF 2380), expanding meat and poultry production in Iowa (SF 2245), increasing funding for the military home ownership program to allow more veterans to buy their first home (SF 2264), mental health loan repayment program (SF 2195), teacher recruitment and retention (SF 2202), funding for hearing aids for children (HF 2491), more teachers qualify for Teach Iowa scholarships (HF 2083), more students eligible for scholarships (HF 2165/SF 2129), scholarships for students with intellectual disabilities (HF 2495), expand radon testing and mitigation in schools (HF 2412), give schools more flexibility for teacher substitutes (HF 2493), licensure of midwives, expanding birthing options for mothers (HF 2547), sports betting revenues to community foundations, making quality of life improvements in our communities (HF 2286), additional dollars to public schools for paraeducators, substitute teachers, and bus drivers (HF 2315).

This week I filed nomination papers at the office of the Secretary of State in the Capitol.

I will be running for House District 52. My current district is 71, but that changed with the redistricting done last fall. The new district 52 includes all of Marshalltown as well as parts of Marshall County to the south. The communities of Haverhill, Laurel, Gilman, Ferguson and Le Grand are part of the new district. The northern part of the county will now become House District 51 which includes the north and western parts of Marshall County and the eastern part of Story County.

I have been honored to get to know and serve the constituents of House District 71. I look forward to meeting and serving the members of the new House District 52.


Sue Cahill, a Democrat from Marshalltown, represents District 71 in the Iowa House.

Contact her at Sue.Cahill@legis.iowa.gov.


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