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Work in the capitol is never predictable.  Things were moving along at a normal pace, bills were being finalized, negotiations were taking place, and the final funnel was upon us.  Things came to a fast halt the Week of March 16th, when the Governor decided to close the Legislature, schools and many businesses across our state to help slow the spread of COVID-19 so our healthcare system in the state was not overwhelmed.  We gaveled in on Monday afternoon and worked through the following day to ensure the Governor and her team had the authority to keep our state moving and that the budget was extended in the case we could not return before July 1.

Governor Reynolds and her team did a great job of painstakingly ensuring the safety of Iowans by slowing the spread and the protection of our state’s economy.  Not an easy task.

The Legislature reconvened on June 3rd, to tackle our unfinished businesses.  Most of our efforts were focused on absolutely necessary legislation, and the state budget.  Constitutionally, Iowa must balance our budget.  Thankfully, due to our pragmatic budgeting practices over the past several years, Iowa is in a much better place financially, than many other states across our great nation.  Our rainy day funds are full.  Although our expected revenue will decline due to COVID-19, we can maintain our current budget and not make cuts that could cause service reductions on our State.  We adjourned Sine Die on Sunday afternoon.

As we completed our work at the capitol this week, things are slowly returning to normal.  Restrictions are being lifted, businesses are being opened.  I encourage you all to do what we should be doing anyway;, cover your cough and sneezes, stay home when you are sick, wash your hands and don’t touch your face if your hands are dirty.  These simple common-sense measures can help keep you healthy no matter what contagious illness is spreading.  

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and please reach out if you have questions or comments.  Enjoy your summer!