Ashley’s Angle: Week Two 1/19/17

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Trusted. Proven. Leader

Thank you so much for entrusting me to represent Iowa House District 67. I am proud to represent people from Marion, Robins, Hiawatha, and Cedar Rapids.

Cedar Rapids Councilwoman Susie Weinacht visited with the Leadership Iowa group.

A short but busy week!

The second week has been just as busy as the first. As part of the Republican Caucus and in my role as Vice-Chair of Appropriations, we are still diligently working to produce a fair and balanced de-appropriation bill to balance the current fiscal year budget. It has been a tough but necessary process to ensure we protect Iowa’s taxpayers.

In that ongoing effort to make sure the government lives within its means and that taxpayer money is put to good use, House Republicans introduced House File 1 (HF1). House File 1 provides:

  • Regular reviews of all programs and projects administered by Executive Branch Agencies and Departments
  • Reviews would measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the programs
  • Programs found to be no longer relevant or ineffective would be reorganized or eliminated

In a Legislative Services Agency (LSA) financial presentation to the appropriations committee, they summarized the future of Iowa’s economy.

“While Iowa’s economy continues to grow, the downward shift in the number of Iowans of working age poses a challenge to continuing state revenue growth over the next decade.  Wage growth may not make up for a decline in the number of Iowans in the workforce.”

As we move forward, my top priorities will continue to be to respect and protect the taxpayers money and to help make Iowa a continued leader in economic development.

In another first for me, I was selected to chair a Judiciary subcommittee to consider House Study Bill 5 (HSB 5). HSB 5 would help to specify the legal roles of those involved in representing children in divorce and visitation proceedings. Along with Representative  Kevin Koester (R) and Representative Mary Wolfe (D) we discussed HSB 5 and listened to public comments and concerns about the bill. HSB 5 passed the subcommittee 3-0 and will move to the Judiciary Committee for further discussion and any amendments.

Capitol Visitors
Dr. Jolana Mungengova, to my right, from the Czech Republic and a Member of Cabinet for Trade in the European Commission. In the meeting with Dr. Mungengova, I was serving as a member of the International Relations Committee, where we hope to grow Iowa’s presence in the global economy.
It was a pleasure to meet a delegation of Chinese businessmen and women with Representative Marti Anderson (D), my desk neighbor in the chamber.
It was an honor to speak with many of the veterans visiting for Veterans Day on the Hill, including American Legion Post 298’s Michael Etzel. The men and women in our armed forces receive excellent training and invaluable experience in numerous fields, yet they often face obstacles in transferring their qualifications to civilian employment. Representative Ken Rizer (Colonel, ret.) and I discussed how we can make that transition smoother and help get military members and veterans back to work.