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More than just a bill

It's been a while since I had time to sit down and crank out an editorial cartoon for the DCN. But sometimes all it takes to really get you motivated is a topic you really care about.

Important bills move to Senate floor

Funnel week may be over, but that doesn’t mean all of the work is over. Subcommittees will be done for the most part, but now my time will be focused on debate and running the bills I chaired in subcommittee on the floor. This week our focus was on floor debate and sending important bills to the House to be considered.

Did your retirement plan administrator still withhold? Get that money back!

The Department of Revenue recently updated their guidance regarding the retirement income exemption that went into effect at the beginning of this year. The department was hearing from numerous Iowans that plan administrators were still withholding on their retirement disbursements.

Claim your identity in Christ’s love

By Carol DeSchepper - Spiritual Director, First Lutheran Church

Now Peter got really nervous and swore, “I never laid eyes on this man you’re talking about.” Just then the rooster crowed a second time. Peter remembered how Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows twice, you’ll deny me three times.” He collapsed in tears. Mark 14:71-72 - The Message

Proposed bill would decrease government transparency in Iowa

Editor's note: State Sen. Dave Rowley of Spirit Lake was one of seven lawmakers who voted against advancing Senate File 546 out of the Ways and Means Committee.

Transparency is best public policy

Of all the policies government agencies must abide, there is none greater than transparency.

This is "Sunshine Week," seven days which celebrate the great American – and Iowan – principle that government belongs to the people, and thus, its actions, records, deliberations, considerations and decisions are to be taken and recorded in view of the public eye.

Work continues following the funnel

As the first funnel week ends, I realize how much has been accomplished in the short time we have been back in the chamber since the first part of January.

Teacher Empowerment Act designed to protect teachers from classroom violence advances

On Wednesday, House Republicans approved a bill aimed at empowering teachers to retake control of their classrooms. House Republicans have heard from many teachers across the state about the struggles they face in the classroom regarding behavioral issues in students, a lack of support from administrators and trainings that take time away from their basic teaching responsibilities. House Study Bill 206 was put together to help address those problems.

Our trade deficit threatens our economic security

As the second largest exporter of agricultural goods in the nation, trade is vital to our economy in Iowa. 415,000 jobs are supported by trade in our state, and in 2018, Iowa exported roughly $14.4 billion in goods and services. As such, our farmers, producers, manufacturers and agricultural community rely on strong trade agreements that open foreign markets and maintain our global competitiveness.

Q&A: Student loans

Q: What’s your opposition to the Biden administration’s student debt forgiveness policy?

40 days of prayer and fasting

By Sedar Shako - Harris-Lake Park United Methodist Church

March is the month of prayer and sacrifice. It is a period that all Christians are called to pray and to sacrifice themselves in the different disciplines of the Lenten period. It is a period of 40 days of prayer and fasting.  

“Pray continually." 1 Thessalonians 5: 17

CO2 pipelines not worth the risk

 It has been over a year since I received that fateful letter addressed to our family farm corporation asking for an easement for a CO2 pipeline in exchange for a large sum of money. While the funds would nicely cover some projects I really want to do, the attorney and real estate agent in me thought I’d better do a little more due diligence before signing.

Don’t drink ethanol’s doomsday Kool-Aid

Things are not going as planned for three deep-pocketed investment companies seeking permits from the Iowa Utilities Board. They expected to move into Iowa, throw billions of dollars around, scoop up the land they needed for hazardous liquid CO2 pipelines using eminent domain and start laying thousands of miles of pipe later this year. Instead, projects like the Midwest Carbon Express are going off the rails.

Floor work ahead of the funnel

Week 7 was an extremely busy week. There was a full schedule of subcommittee meetings from the time I arrived all throughout the week. This work is all in preparation for the first funnel deadline (March 3) where hundreds of bills are weaned down to focus on those bills that have the best opportunity to move forward. To do this a bill must pass the subcommittee and the full committee to move on. As a result of the deadline the volume picks up.

Superintendents, school board presidents defend graphic sexual images in schools

Recently, superintendents and school board presidents from six Iowa school districts appeared before the House Oversight Committee. Due to time considerations and political theatrics from Democrats, the committee only heard from four of the districts.

Still time to fix it

By Rev. C. Bradley Wallace - Faith Pentecostal Church, Spencer

Fix the broken drawer handle. Fix the bathroom light switch. Fix the garage door opener. Finish the door trim that’s been stained and ready to install for 10 years. Finish painting the hallway and the list grows on.

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