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    In the last two weeks we have moved 67 bills out of the Iowa Senate to the House of Representatives. The House will vet them and either accept, amend, or reject the bill. The Senate will be doing the same thing with all bills sent from the House. Floor debate tends to last longer in the Hous…

      Welfare reform has been my leading project for the last two years. Last year Iowa Senate Republicans passed a collection of bills to address various issues from work requirements to electronic benefit card fraud. Taking lessons learned from last year’s debates, I developed the ideas and brou…

        What a difference a week makes. There was floor debate every day this week. The bills we are passing now are the bills that survived last week’s first funnel.

          The pace of legislation has slowed as we passed the funnel deadline last week. The focus is now to pass Senate files and send them to the House for their committee system to consider. The next deadline is March 20. By that day a Senate file must be out of the House committee or House file ou…

            We just finished the first funnel week for this legislative session. This week was very busy attending last minute subcommittees and attending standing committees. Here are some of the significant bills that made the deadline.

            Growing up I remember hearing the phrase “Have you no shame?” That question must have held some power back in the day. But if you asked that now, some shapers of our current political culture would respond with a resounding “No.” Hyper-partisanship has moved us into a post-shame world.

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            Larry says that state legislators do not “listen to his concerns.” I have had numerous communications with Larry. I do not believe that listening to concerns means that I must agree with them at the end of the discussion.

            We need to restore the political balance in lowa so that the rest of us - Democrats, independents, and moderate Republicans - will be represented by all levels of government. My state legislators, our 4th district Congressman Randy Feenstra, and Senators Grassley and Ernst do not listen to m…