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The first week of the 89th General Assembly began on Monday and it has been a good week, thus far. The first week is generally full of pomp and circumstance along with the approval of administrative issues like rules, pay, and other things that keep the session going and orderly. The week also entails getting the Condition of the State from the Governor, Judicial, and Military (National Guard) of the state.

I was elected as Speaker Pro Tem on Monday by the full house and was honored to have been selected by my peers for that position. There was a moment during that first day of speeches where Republican leaders talked about working for the citizens of the State. The Minority Leader of the House, Todd Pritchard, who talked about division, made the statement that Republican leaders did not respond to the violence in Washington D.C. on January 6th. You can see the speeches and the transcript of the speeches at this link:  State Government | The Iowa Torch

Majority Leader Matt Windschitl responded to Minority Leader Pritchard very decisively by saying that the violence at the Capitol on January 6th was NOT ok, and he was rewarded with a standing ovation of all Republican members supporting this statement. Again, you can go to the link above to view this speech online.

Tuesday, the Governor gave her State of the State address. An interesting thing to note is that only six Democrats were in attendance for the speech even though most people were wearing masks and socially distanced. There are forty-one Democrats in the Iowa House and the fact that six came to the address was a slap in the face for the Governor while she outlined the condition of our state and her plans for the upcoming year.

I discussed these two issues on social media and was met with several people questioning why I would bring these issues up if I want unity? They seem to be somewhat divisive in and of themselves. My answer is, the media will not let you know about these incidents and I think that the only way to let you know the condition of the Iowa House is to tell you. If you don’t like this kind of activity, let them know that you are not in agreement with this kind of blatant disrespect for our political entities. We don’t want to become like Washington D.C. after all. This is my 7th first week in the legislature and it is by far the most aggressive the Democrats have been.

Normally, the Iowa Legislature has been Iowa nice, but this week it seems different. To clarify that does not mean it is a good difference. This legislative session will be difficult for all involved due to COVID-19 and the happenings in Washington D.C. right now. That does not have to translate to the Iowa Legislature, and I passionately believe we are better together than we are apart.

I appreciate your willingness to allow me to represent you and am honored to have been chosen to represent the values of NW Iowa.

Author: John Wills