Iowa House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) delivered opening remarks to the Iowa House of Representatives Monday, kicking off the legislative session.
“It is my hope that the 85th General Assembly of Iowa may serve as an example of the best in public service. Iowans can be proud that we do not have the same problems that plague Washington,” said Upmeyer. “In fact, we have the opportunity to show
Washington what happens when we focus not on our differences, but on our common goals. Let’s work together to identify the problems we face and focus on solutions.”
Upmeyer stressed that all members in the House have been sent to Des Moines to do important work on behalf of Iowans.
“We should not be afraid to share ideas. We should not be afraid to debate. It is healthy for ideas in this building to receive a spirited discussion and vetting. We should embrace a civil and open dialogue I am afraid that our leaders in Washington may have lost that focus. People in Iowa and around the country are losing their faith in government. They are losing faith in the ability of good men and women to tackle issues head on. They see a Congress afraid to debate issues openly or operate transparently by passing a budget. They see runaway spending as the nation’s debt burden reaches nearly inconceivable levels. They watch health care costs skyrocket yet no reforms to slow it. They see lip service paid to the burden of overregulation only to watch onerous rules continue to proliferate under overzealous agencies. Our farmers are busy feeding the world and yet doubt is cast over their industry because of the failure to pass a farm bill,” stated Upmeyer.
“The so-called “fiscal cliff” epitomized why so many are losing faith,” she continued. “Allegedly, Washington was finally forced to confront its own fiscal crisis. The result? More taxes, more debt, and they kicked as many cans down the road as they could. If you feel anything like me then you are probably ready to tell them to get out of our way and let the states handle it!”
The House leader said she envisions education as a key area where the parties should be able to come together.
“There was a time when the education system in Iowa evoked pride. Today however, it raises mostly concern,” said Upmeyer. “We are concerned about the quality and rigor of the education our children are receiving. We are concerned that students are not graduating with the mastery necessary to succeed in college. We are concerned that our students are not graduating with the skills needed to enter the workforce and that increasingly our students must compete with not just those from other states, but other nations… Revitalizing our education system is one of the great opportunities of this General Assembly.”
Property tax reform is another area the House leader will focus upon in this session.
“It is time for the campaign rhetoric to become action. As we do so, we must acknowledge our own poor record of funding property tax credits. We must also appreciate concerns that property tax cuts could shift the burden to other classes of property. Property tax relief and reform can take many forms. We should be open to many ideas. However, as recognition of our own shortcomings we should ensure that it is significant, predictable and avoids any shift while benefitting all classes of property. The citizens of Iowa have told us they are unhappy with the unsustainable growth of property taxes. If we continue to do nothing, - Read More Via e-Edition