It is the second week of session, and we are getting down to business at the Statehouse. I attended committees and numerous meetings, chaired subcommittees, managed my first bill of the year in committee, and even participated in floor debate. It was a full week, but I’m happy to be hard at work for the people of House District 6.
The Appropriations Subcommittee for Transportation, Infrastructure, and Capitals, known as “RIIF” or Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund, met Wednesday morning. I had the pleasure to introduce the new members to the committee and welcome Adam Broich and Austin Brinks from LSA Fiscal Services Division to discuss the Governor’s proposed transportation and infrastructure budgets.
Thursday morning, the Education committee considered HF 5, a bill I introduced and had the honor to manage. HF 5 passed the Education committee unanimously. This bill expands the Health Care Professional Recruitment Program to include health professionals who graduate from all accredited programs in Iowa (including Briar Cliff University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program) rather than the current requirement that applicants must have completed a program at Des Moines University. This bill will keep more of our best and brightest in Iowa by providing opportunities for them in rural Iowa, increasing access to vital healthcare services across our state.
Representatives Landon and Gobble this week took the first step towards ensuring parental choice in education by introducing a bill that returns the decision-making power back to the parents – allowing them to determine which instruction method is best for their children.
In regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Iowa House is taking precautions to mitigate the spread while still ensuring transparency and public participation in government. The House is live-streaming committee and subcommittee meetings, utilizing bigger spaces to remain spaced out during meetings, and providing personal protective equipment for all legislators, employees, and visitors. It is important to keep the legislative branch functioning safely because Iowans are counting on us to show up and do our jobs.
I would once again like to thank all of my constituents back home who have allowed me the privilege and honor to serve as their voice in the Iowa House. As we progress throughout the session, please reach out to me with all the ideas and concerns you may have.