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Welfare reform is another issue State Rep. John Wills (R-Dickinson) is hoping could be addressed this session.

“I’ve got a bill I just finalized that would require asset verification and make sure that people aren’t getting welfare even though they own 500 acres of land someplace or something else,” he said. “I know the Senate has some things on welfare reform.”

Wills said he isn’t sure that the Senate’s reforms are the right reforms.

“My problem is that it’s about 65,000 people they’re trying to put to work, but it’ll cost us $10 million to do that,” Wills said. “I don’t see the return on it. I hate to see people not working when they’re able, but $10 million is a lot of money to be paying to get people to work. We’re not going to get that return off of it. We’re actually going to spend money to get people to work and I don’t know. I could see both sides.”

Wills, who is Speaker Pro Tempore-Select, has been a part of leadership in the past as well. Rep. Pat Grassley will be Speaker, replacing Rep. Linda Upmeyer.

“We’re really going to be sitting pretty good as far as leadership,” Wills said. “Pat Grassley is a lot different than what Linda Upmeyer was. That’s not a good or a bad thing — it’ just that he’s different. He’ll have some different things that he’ll concentrate on and he’ll do things differently — again, not bad or good.”

Wills has been gaining familiarity with the role of Speaker Pro Tempore.

“I’ve been really studying and getting myself familiar with the rules and those sorts of things,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it. Overall, we have a good team and I think they’re starting to gel. We’ll have to just see. Like I always told my soldiers, everything is good until the first bullets start flying, and then we find out if our training worked.”

Author: Jacob Hall