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Shortened week makes for whirlwind of subcommittees

Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the festivities revolving around the inauguration of Gov. Kim Reynolds, who was elected to another term as Iowa’s governor. It was a great experience to witness these events. It is also an honor representing District 5 as an attendee and as your state senator. I had visits with Gov. Reynolds, Congressman Feenstra, Congressman Nunn and others to keep communication open and attentive to doing what is best for Iowa and our future.

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By Gary Lambert - Light of the Lakes Friends Church

My momma told me, "Gary, you're not the dumbest guy in the world, but you'd better pray he don't die."

Three things happened this past week that helped prompt this article.

I got a call the other day and it went something like this:

"Hello, this is Gary."

State session begins

The 90th General Assembly kicked off on Monday Jan. 9, 2023, starting with our new Iowa Senate President Amy Sinclair taking the oath of office. President Sinclair then gave the oath of office to all of the senators who were elected to the Iowa Senate last November. With these additions, the Republican majority is at a historic high in both chambers, with the Senate majority now at 34-16.

Governor outlines education savings accounts

On Tuesday, Gov. Reynolds gave her Condition of the State speech. Within her speech, she discussed her education plans. The number one issue is school choice. Gov. Reynolds' Student First Act will set up an Education Savings Account Program.

Q&A: Foreign ownership of U.S. farmland

Q: What’s new with your efforts to boost transparency in foreign investment of farmland?

How do we raise our children in a world gone woke?

By Kurt Trucksess - CrossWinds Church

Parenting in the modern world is hard. It requires a bigger house, a bigger car and saving for a college education. Parents are a taxi service, driving children to sports, band and play practices. Everyone is looking for guidance on how to raise children well in our woke culture.

Merging and making it better

Over the last year, the Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa Department of Human Services have evaluated the areas of overlap and duplication between the two state agencies. Following this evaluation, the departments announced that the plan is to remove silos between agencies by moving toward a one-agency structure.

This Iowa GOP ‘trifecta’ drops the ball with vets

In politics, having a “trifecta” in government is a good thing for a political party — until the trifecta’s inaction on some popular issue starts to haunt the party.

Iowa Republicans served up an example of the consequences of such inaction in the days leading up to Christmas. The example involves military veterans, a highly sought-after constituency that is part of any solid political movement.

Iowans entrusted Republicans with the House majority, and we will deliver

Jan. 3rd marked the beginning of the 118th Congress, and our new Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Across our nation, more than 54 million Americans entrusted Republicans with their confidence and their vote. Now, they rightfully expect us to deliver conservative victories for our country and our communities.

Q&A: 118th Congress

Q: What are your committee assignments in the 118th Congress?

Anticipation and the winter within

The idea of celebrating the New Year Holiday always made for a strange juxtaposition in my mind.

On the one hand, we're looking ahead to all the things we hope the next 365 days will bring, perhaps even the things we intend to bring about ourselves in that time. But on he other hand, we are still standing in a world that hasn't changed that much.

Just take a quick walk outside.

The U.S. Supreme Court could fall on this slippery slope of discrimination

Few people like being told what they must do. Lorie Smith is one of them.

The suburban Denver, Colo., business owner, a devout Christian, builds websites for customers. She wants to expand her business and begin building websites for couples who are planning weddings.

But she is adamant that she does not want to be forced to build websites for same-sex couples. Doing so, she says, would violate her faith, which does not allow her to celebrate same-sex marriages.

Let’s put an end to human trafficking

There is a form of slavery taking place in Iowa right now. It’s called human trafficking, and it occurs when men, women or children are forced to perform labor services or sexual acts. This horrific crime affects thousands of people across the U.S., and it can happen to anyone. The state of Iowa is taking steps to raise awareness about human trafficking and put an end to this danger, but we need your help.

Q&A: New Year’s Resolution: Border Security

Q: Why are you calling on the Biden administration to make border security its New Year’s resolution?
 

Mourning amid the merriment

She'd probably be the first to make a joke about it, but my year-end work this week was interrupted by some sad news.

Kari VanderWoude, who worked among our group of newspapers for many years and did so many different things it was hard to say exactly what her job title was, passed away Dec. 22.

Iowa farmland values hit all-time high despite concerns about higher inflation, interest rates

By Wendong Zhang and Nathan Cook

One year after skyrocketing 29%, the average value of an acre of Iowa farmland jumped another 17%, or $1,660, to $11,411 per acre. The nominal value of an acre of farmland is again higher this year than at any point since Iowa State University began surveying values in 1941. When adjusting for inflation, the 2022 average value surpasses the previous inflation-adjusted record value set in 2013 for the first time.

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