This week has been a very productive week in the Iowa Senate. We have had important bills, debates, and meetings take place over the course of the week. I served on several subcommittees, chairing two. We also had a Ways & Means Committee meeting where several bills passed and are now eligible for floor debate. After two days of floor debate in the Senate, the House is now working through several of those bills.
This week Senate Republicans released our budget target of $8.486 billion for the next fiscal year. It is the same target Governor Reynolds has put forward. This budget is a 3.3% increase in state spending which continues our goal of responsible, conservative spending so we can focus on investing in important priorities and keep providing tax relief for Iowans.
On a personal note, this was an enjoyable and unique week in particular, as I had the privilege to welcome and introduce Leo Kinnetz from Milford on the Senate floor last Monday. He was welcomed to a thunderous round of applause from our colleagues. Leo is a student at Okoboji High School. He chose to job shadow me this legislative week to experience and learn what it is like to be a state senator. Leo definitely picked a great time to be here to witness all aspects of what a day in the Senate is like. From being able to observe the process of scheduling a subcommittee from start to finish, understanding how a standing committee (like Ways and Means) is run, interacting with fellow senators and staff, as well as learning where my mailbox is kept. Leo was a great addition to the Senate and everyone enjoyed meeting him. He asked all the right questions one would if they wanted to pursue a career in the political field. I also appreciated Leo’s ideas for legislation. Now I do think he was a bit in awe as he was able to have access to the whole Senate Chamber, as well as serving as temporary clerk while we participated in the two days of debate. It was a great experience for all of us. Thank you, Leo (and Okoboji High School)!
Bills of interest this week:
- SF 318, establishing the Iowa Office of Apprenticeship
- SF 398, providing educational resources for career and student organizations related to robotics
- SF 251, expands the definition of administrative costs within the Iowa code
- SF 144, made it a class “C” felony for pointing a laser at an aircraft
Another important bill that passed was the SF 201, “Technology device to stalk” bill. This bill will make any stalking by technological device, like an AirTag a criminal offence for the state of Iowa. We have been seeing AirTags get used more and more to stalk people. With this bill, we hope to stop this uprising of misuse of the AirTags and other technological devices that are intended to stalk people and their property.
Thank you for the privilege of representing you who live, work, and reside in Senate District 5 here at the Iowa Senate.
Senator Dave Rowley