This week marked the beginning of the 2018 Session of the 87th Iowa General Assembly and the clear highlight was delivery of the Condition of the State Address by Governor Kim Reynolds, the first woman in Iowa history to ever have the opportunity to give this annual address.
It also marked the introduction of a new leader in the Iowa Senate, with Janet Petersen beginning her first Session as head of the Senate Democrat minority caucus. In fact, she took her first opportunity on the floor to deliver a blistering speech regarding the policy agenda of Senate Republicans in 2017 and to continue the conversation regarding sexual harassment that dominated much of the interim.
House and Senate Republican leaders have pledged to attempt to conclude the 2018 Session within 90 days (state law sets a soft close after 100 days)—which would put us in early April.
Lastly, this week also marked the delivery of Governor Reynolds first state budget and spending priorities, with the Governor recommending an overall spending increase at a modest 2.3%.
Top priorities for Governor Reynolds:
Excerpts from Opening Speeches
House Speaker Upmeyer:
“This is about the essence of the American dream, upward mobility. We have so much talent in this state--we cannot let it slip away. We must connect today’s workforce with training and certification so they can achieve that dream... a career and security for their families.”
Senate Majority Leader Dix:
“One year ago, we started our journey. We passed legislation on the Second Amendment and voter ID, a joint resolution to let the citizens of Iowa vote on putting a 99 percent expenditure limit amendment in the state’s constitution, changes to reward our state’s best teachers, and give our school districts more control and flexibility. We passed legislation reducing the regulatory burden on Iowa’s job creators and eliminated hurdles to growth for other industries, improving career opportunities for every Iowan while ensuring our state remains a beacon of enterprise and ingenuity.
Senate Minority Leader Petersen:
“Some of the biggest mistakes of the 2017 session–anti-worker legislation, voter suppression and other extreme changes–were cooked up behind closed doors without any input from hard-working Iowans. Iowans expect legislators to stand up for them. When we know things are not going right, we need to have the backbone and courage to change course. “
House Minority Leader Smith:
“House Democrats believe it’s time for the Legislature to work together and get back to the basics. That means focusing our efforts on good jobs and boosting our skilled workforce. It means renewing our commitment to public schools. And it means working together to make health care both more affordable and accessible.
Governor Reynolds’ Budget in Brief
Efforts on Behalf of Community Bankers of Iowa