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On Monday, January 9th  the first session of the 90th Iowa General Assembly convened. First and foremost, I must thank my wife and two daughters who have been by my side during every campaign and are the ones who sacrifice the most so that I can serve the people of Iowa. In addition, I would 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. I would also like to thank my supporters across the state who have helped me in many ways over the last 16 years. A big thank you must also be offered to my House Republican colleagues for once again putting their faith in me by electing me to continue to serve as the House Majority Leader, which I am both humbled and honored to do.

As we do every new session, House Republicans have set a list of legislative priorities we aim to accomplish before we adjourn. While there are many issues we will address this year, some of the top priorities we have heard about from constituents across Iowa include: property tax reform, welfare improvement, addressing our state’s workforce shortage, curriculum transparency in our schools, expanding rural emergency healthcare, and providing more access to parental choice in education, just to name a few. My colleagues and I have already filed numerous bills to tackle these issues and they will be moving through the committee process in the coming weeks.

During the first week of session, the Iowa House and Senate held three joint sessions to receive updates from leaders in our government. Tuesday evening, Governor Reynolds delivered the Condition of the State address. Wednesday morning, Chief Justice Susan Christensen provided an update on the Condition of the Judiciary. And finally, on Thursday morning the Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, Maj. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell delivered the Condition of the National Guard address.

Governor Reynolds delivered a powerful and clear agenda for the future. One of the main highlights from her agenda is her plan to implement school choice in Iowa and give parents and students greater ability to choose the education institution that best serves the student. The plan is called the Student First Act and creates education savings accounts for students as well as provides greater flexibility for our public schools to utilize unspent, existing funds in local school districts for things like teacher salary increases. There are other details to the proposal, but the bottom line is this plan focuses on students and creates an environment for enhanced learning opportunities while still supporting our local public schools.

Author: Matt Windschitl


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