Moving forward at the state capitol

In preparation for upcoming floor debate and moving forward with proposed legislation, week four at the Capitol has consisted of many subcommittee meetings for multiple bills. After subcommittee meetings are held, these bills will return to their respective committees for discussion and consideration before moving to the floor for debate.

Agriculture

As Iowans, we rely heavily upon agricultural industries which provide numerous jobs and economic growth essential to our state and local economies. The hard work and dedication of Iowa farmers is something that should be celebrated and honored. On Aug. 12 at the Iowa State Fair ceremonies will be held honoring Century and Heritage farms. Families that have owned their farm for 100 years may apply for recognition as a Century Farm, while families that have owned their farm for 150 years may apply for recognition as a Heritage Farm. As agriculture is one of Iowa’s most important economic drivers, Secretary Northey has encouraged those eligible for recognition to apply for the 2014 Century and Heritage Farm Program. Applications are available on the Department of Agriculture’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov under the “Hot Topics” tab.

Education

Continuing to focus on education issues is a priority at the Statehouse as it is essential to strengthen positive futures for Iowa’s students. It is imperative as legislators that we work with education professionals as well as students to do our best to set students up for success, not failure. These include freezing tuition at state universities and continuing to appropriately fund K-12 education. Currently, Iowa spends about $10,000 per K-12 student every year. This funding is at the highest level in the last 30 years.

These opportunities not only provide Iowa families with ample access to education and higher learning, but will also encourage responsible lending and reduce the amount of debt young people and families are faced with upon graduation.