January 17, 2020
Greetings to you all,
The 2020 session opened this week and it was great to see all of my colleagues from across Iowa. We heard the priorities for session from all of the legislative leaders on Monday and continued the week with three joint sessions to hear from the Governor, Acting Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, and the General of the Iowa National Guard.
This session I’m focused on improving the lives of everyday Iowans. I’ve spent the last year listening to Iowans and learning what is important to them. We need to make genuine progress on good-paying jobs and affordable and accessible healthcare. I’m optimistic this year that we will make progress on expanding the use of medical cannabis and prioritizing the mental health of Iowans across the state.
Jaelyn Lentz is my new clerk for the 2020 legislative session and is a sophomore political communications major at Drake University. I look forward to working with her!
I had the pleasure of meeting with UNI Student Government President, Jacob Levang, Vice President Jacob Stites, and Government Relations Isaak Epersen as well as Board of Regents member Nancy Dunkel, and UNI President Mark Nook to discuss funding for UNI.
From left to right: Jacob Stites, Jacob Levang, Isaak Epersen, Nancy Dunkel, Rep. Bob Kressig, Sen. Eric Giddens, and President Mark Nook
Operation Threshold from Waterloo came and spoke with me and the other representatives from Black Hawk county about Family Development and Self Sufficiency an evidence-based program focused on creating positive long-term change for families receiving Family Investment Program (FIP) Benefits.
From left to right: Rep. Bob Kressig, Rep. Dave Williams, Michelle Kestron, Dianna Duitsman, Katherine Sager, Rep. Timi Brown-Powers, and Rep. Ras Smith)
As your Representative, I hope to reflect your interests and concerns in my work at the Capitol, so please reach out at any time. The Iowa Legislature’s webpage, www.legis.iowa.gov, has a great amount of information for you to read. In addition to reading bills and finding out what’s happening in the House or Senate on any given day, you can listen to or watch our debates live.
Please check out other information and pictures from the current session on my website www.bobkressig.com. In addition to listening posts, forums, and Black Hawk County Representatives’ weekly video update, you can also reach me by email or call me at home at 319-266-9021. We can also stay connected through social media, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. I appreciate hearing from you and I thank you for your continued support.
Thank you for taking the time to read the Statehouse News. Please keep in touch!
17 UNI Women’s Basketball vs Evansville, McLeod Center, 6:30pm, 273-4849
17-19 Iowa Boat, RV & Vacation Show, UNI-Dome, Fri 3pm; Sat 10am; Sun 11am, 240-3571
19 Wedding Extravaganza, Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center, 12pm, 404-0009
19 UNI Women’s Basketball vs Indiana State, McLeod Center, 2pm, 273-4849
20 Pack the Dome: Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, UNI-Dome, 10:30am, 272-2087
20 Final Thursday Reading Series – North American Review issue launch, Hearst Center, 7pm, 273- 8641
24 UNI Men’s & Women’s Track – Jack Jennett Invite, UNI-Dome, 10am, 273-4849
24 Proposition; Pressure; Proof The Prints Of William Kentridge and Phillip Chen Opening Reception, Hearst Center, 5pm, 273-8641
24 Black Hawks Hockey vs Muskegon, Young Arena, 7:05pm, 291-7680
24-26 Wait Until Dark, Hope Martin Theatre, Fri & Sat 7pm; Sun 2pm, 291-4494
2020 Legislative Session Starts with Focus on Iowans
This week the 2020 Legislative Session began and lawmakers pledged to work together to keep focused on everyday Iowans, including creating good jobs, investing in public schools, and making health care both affordable and accessible.
Lawmakers intend to focus the 2020 Legislative Session on four key initiatives including;
• bringing better jobs to the community through increased job training and decreasing the cost of childcare;
• affordable healthcare by lowering the cost of prescription drugs and providing increased mental health access;
• making Iowa schools #1 in the nation again through affordable higher education and increasing investments in K-12 education and early education;
• and revitalizing small towns and rural areas by investing in small businesses and increasing access to affordable housing for families.
The 2020 Iowa State Legislature runs 100 days and is scheduled to adjourn on April 21, 2020.
2020 Legislative Survey
In an effort to learn about what’s important to Iowans, lawmakers are requesting Iowans participate in a brief survey. To complete the survey and share your views click here.
Governor Outlines Budget Priorities
As the legislative session begins, Governor Kim Reynolds outlined her budget priorities in the annual Condition of the State address to the Legislature. While the Governor laid out the main themes of her budget, the budget recommendations made will now be considered by the Legislature.
Along with budget recommendations, the Governor urged lawmakers to pass a constitutional amendment to allow felons the right to vote, but once again has refused to sign an executive order that could grant them their voting rights immediately. Legislation to enact voter felon rights passed last session in the House but failed to make it through the Senate.
The Governor also introduced both a sales tax increase and an income tax plan, but left out many details leaving lawmakers with more questions than answers. Other ideas outlined by the Governor include a constitutional ban on abortion, growing Iowa’s skilled workforce, expanding high speed internet access, and making child care more affordable.
While there are a lot of areas that demand and can get bi-partisan agreement, House Democrats will be making sure the 2020 Legislative Session is focused on issues that are important to every day Iowans, including creating good-paying jobs, investing in education, affordable health care, and revitalizing our rural communities.
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Felon Voting Database Controversy
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