By REP. DAN KELLEY
We opened the 2014 legislative session this week and it was great to see my colleagues from around the state again. After legislative leaders offered their agenda for session on opening day Monday, we had two special joint sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday to hear from the Governor and the Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court.
The Governor outlined his priorities this year and also released his budget recommendations. We were pleased to hear many things that we all agree on, including: connecting more Iowans to broadband, freezing tuition at our state universities, and stopping bullying in our schools.
While he also took a positive step expanding apprenticeship and job training programs, we’re going to have to work together to build more support for community colleges and grow our skilled workforce.
If we keep focused on the middle class, we can approve some common sense solutions and give Iowans more economic security.
Chief Justice Mark Cady’s State of Judiciary highlighted several priorities for the courts this year. The top priority is protecting Iowa’s kids with more face-to-face meetings with troubled youth. Justice Cady also wants to make sure the courts provide equal access to every Iowan regardless of where they live.
This session I will serve on the same committees as last year; Ways & Means, Environmental Protection, Agriculture, and International Relations. I will serve, once again, as Ranking Member on the Administration and Regulations Budget Subcommittee. In addition, our new Minority Leader Mark Smith of Marshalltown has appointed me to the State Government Committee. I’m excited about this new assignment. It’s good to get back to work at the Capitol.
While every Iowan knows the first in the nation Iowa Caucuses are held every presidential year, many Iowans don’t realize the caucuses for both Democrats and Republicans are held in non-presidential years as well. It’s an opportunity to meet with your neighbors and talk about what’s important to you, your family, and your community. The 2014 Iowa Caucuses will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 21 in a location near you. Please attend and participate.
Visit my website at www.electkelley.com. ‘Friend’ me on Facebook and ‘follow’ me on Twitter. Thank you for the opportunity to serve.