Thanking veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice is a continued priority of the Legislature. This year veterans and their families traveled to the State Capitol for Veterans Day on the Hill. I appreciated the opportunity to discuss priority issues with State Legion Commander Dennis Soppe and Veterans Jake Blitsch, John Hintz and Rollie Stedman.

"Made in Iowa" Introduced

I sponsored Made in Iowa legislation to help Iowa manufacturers and small businesses hire new employees and grow their business by giving them first opportunity at state and local government contracts. It's an idea that many of the folks I met last fall supported and it's a common sense bill that should be able to win strong bi-partisan support this year.

Subcommittee Bill Assignment

I have been assigned to a bill to couple the state income tax law with the Federal American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. I believe this legislation will be passed out of the House next week, so that the tax preparers can begin to submit tax reports.

Other News this Week

· Conservation Partnership Day was also held at the Capitol this week. I enjoyed visiting with Dick Jensen, Mike Finnegan, John Olds, John Lubke and Dave Drilling on their conservation priorities.

· Democrats in the Senate have taken the first step to approve 4% increase in basic state aid to local schools to help them keep up with rising energy, salary, and health care costs.

· The House opened hearings on the Governor's Education reform plan this week. It's just the first step in gathering input from educators, parents, and students to build consensus on a plan that can win approval in the House and Senate. I encourage you to contact me about the plan or comment on

If you have any questions on these issues or other legislative issues, please contact me at or 515-281-3221.