Now that the legislature has finally adjourned, I want to thank you all for your support over the last 28 years. It has truly been an honor to represent the people in Johnson County in District 46, 77 and 86. I have many wonderful memories during my time in the legislature and I am especially proud of the legislation we passed when Democrats were in control of the House, Senate and the Governor’s office from 2006-2010. The list is lengthy but these are some of the progressive bills passed during that time.
- Increased the minimum wage in Iowa
- Banned smoking in public places
- Included LGBTQ rights in the civil rights code
- Created the first voluntary 4-year old preschool program in the state
- Raised the tobacco tax
- Invested in renewable energy by funding both solar and wind programs
- Established and funded the University of Iowa Flood Center
- Protected women’s health care rights
- Passed the first anti-bullying legislation in Iowa
A progressive legislature can improve the future of our state by making it more attractive for our younger Iowans and those who support diversity and women’s rights. Elections matter and I encourage everyone to vote in the upcoming primary on Tuesday, June 7th!
One of the successes of the session was blocking the voucher legislation from becoming law. It has been a top priority of the Governor’s for a number of years. Thankfully rural republicans in the Iowa House recognized how devastating this would be for their small rural school districts and kept the bill from coming to the floor for a vote. Public money should be used to fund our public schools. If we are going to prevent vouchers in the future we need to elect legislators who support our public schools.
I am looking forward to this next chapter in my life and devoting my time to local groups and issues that I care deeply about. CommUnity, Habitat for Humanity, Childcare, Retired Teachers, 5224Good, The Bird House, Shelter House, and Altrusa are some of the groups I will be helping promote in our community. I may be retiring from the legislature but I will continue to be active at the local level. I have always believed in the mantra “think global and act local”.