Returning to the Iowa Senate this week, it was understood we would be casting votes on dozens of bills. The first funnel ended last Friday and Senators attended scores of subcommittee and committee meetings in an attempt to get bills moving before the self-imposed funnel deadline.
The Senate took up more than 60 bills this week, with the overwhelming majority of the proposed legislation receiving broad, bipartisan support. The topics ranged from a bill creating a Lyme disease task force to enhancing penalties for those convicted of kidnapping a child.
It is essential to provide our students with the flexibility and ability to participate in activities. That may not always be as simple as it sounds. In some Iowa districts, certain activities are not offered. If a student wishes to participate, they may have to travel to a neighboring district that offers them the opportunity. For some, the distance between schools makes it difficult for students to participate in these programs. This week we passed a bill so students will have the ability to drive to a contiguous school district for activities. The bill does not change the passenger requirement or any other provision of a school driver’s permit. It only expands the route students are able to drive. This bill helps rural schools and I am proud to have supported this bill and provide our students better opportunities to participate in activities.
There are two issues I try to keep clear. Know what you are fighting for and know what you are fighting against. This week I was thinking about Iowa Families and the challenges they face every day. Let me be clear, I know what I am fighting for— It is you and your families! During the past few weeks, several senators were offering $200 million here, a couple million over there, and $50 million in other areas. Out of control spending of your money! I have a full understanding of how you have to live within your means and it is important to apply these same standards to your government. I will continue to work hard to maintain the programs and services our communities need and appropriate accordingly.