Now that the campaigns are behind us, we are busy preparing for the 2017 legislative session. I would like to thank all of the voters for their participation in this election and especially all those that voted to return me to the Iowa House to represent District 72. I am honored to once again have this wonderful opportunity. I am also excited to have Senator-Elect Jeff Edler as a partner in representing the district.
We will be returning to the Iowa House with a stronger majority of 59 Republicans to 41 Democrats, an increase of 2 seats by Republicans. We have elected our leadership for the upcoming General Assembly, retaining Representative Upmeyer as Speaker of the House and Representative Hagenow as House Majority Leader.
A significant shift occurred in the Senate with Republicans winning a 29 to 19 seat majority control, picking up six seats from the Democrats. There is also one Senator that has not declared a party, and there is one senate seat yet to be filled in a special election later this December to fill the seat left open by the passing of Senator Joe Seng. Most significant amongst these six wins was that Democrat Senator Mike Gronstal, longtime Senate Majority Leader, was defeated in his district by his Republican challenger, Dan Dawson. The Senate has elected Republican Senator Bill Dix as the new Senate Majority Leader.
State Rep. Dean Fisher
With Republicans controlling both legislative chambers and the governor's office, the agenda of the legislature will see a significant shift. We will now be able to pass bolder reforms that were previously blocked by the Democrat-controlled Senate. It is too early to tell what all the plans are, as they are still being formulated, but I can say that many of us will be working to pass pro-Second Amendment and Pro-Life legislation that was previously blocked by the Senate. Tax reforms are another area that is likely to receive considerable discussion as we strive to make the tax code work to enable economic growth and create jobs. The needs of Iowans will be at the top of our minds at all times.
What will not change is our commitment to a responsible and balanced budget. The budget principles we have held in the House for many years will remain the same: We will not spend more than we collect; We will not underfund existing programs; We will not spend one time funds on ongoing expenses; We will return unused tax dollars to Iowa's taxpayers. This coming year will have budget challenges due to slow revenue growth as our agricultural economy continues to suffer. I will discuss those issues in an upcoming newsletter.
On a more personal note, I am happy to announce that my wife, Vicki, will be joining me at the Capitol as my clerk next session. Vicki has many years of experience as a church secretary and working in the office at Principal Insurance. She will be a huge asset to me as we work through what promises to be a very busy and active session.
I'm interested in hearing your ideas and concerns as we move forward. As always, feel free to contact me at 641-750-3594 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We formally gavel in the new session on January 9th.
If you can visit us at the Capitol during the session we would love to have you.