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Abortion, judges and education

Several important pieces of legislation began the journey to becoming law this week. Three of those are as follows: an amendment to the Iowa Constitution that would stop the court from negating legislation on abortion, a bill that gives citizens more say in who is nominated for open judge seats, and funding for education.
Read the whole column in the Feb. 14 Advance.

Election case

After receiving a report from the Contested Election Committee (CEC), the Iowa House voted to dismiss a contested election for House District 55. The contestant, Kayla Koethers, originally lost to incumbent Michael Bergen by nine votes. The CEC, led by Rep. Holt, concluded that the contestation lacked support by Iowa Code 53.17, Iowa Administrative Code 721.21.14(53) and legislative history surrounding the adoption of HF 2273 in 2016.

Budget work

As week three wraps up at the capitol, many bills are in the process of being drafted, and subcomittee meetings are in full swing.
We also continue with discussions on budget issues. The House and Senate are working on separate budget proposals.
Find the House Happenings in the Feb. 7 Kossuth County Advance.

Stray kittens, football and stuff

It occurs to me that I haven't given you an update recently on the stray cat family that dines on my porch every evening. I'm sure inquiring minds want to know. Sorry to have kept you waiting.
If you are a latecomer to this column (and please bring a note from home explaining why you are late), I started feeding a little gray cat a couple of years ago. I named her St. Francis because I'm crazy about St. Francis and have his statue next to the birdbath.

School transportation

The third week of the 2019 session saw legislation working on a wide variety of ideas in subcommittees. There are more than 200 bills already filed. I'm sure there will be at least that many more.
One of interest to rural Iowa is Senate File 58. It provides more flexibility for rural schools in transporting students to school activities.
Read the whole column in the Feb. 7 Kossuth County Advance.

Bill would change how compensation board picked

This week I have filed a new bill, HF 78, relating to the earliest school start date. This bill gives Iowa K-12 schools permission to start after the last day of the Iowa State Fair.
HF 117, relating to the composition of county compensation boards, intends to have counties form compensation boards from city council members and countee trustees, appointed by a temporary board of peers, to serve as the county compensation board.

Bill would allow person with gun to take kids to school

Since Republicans gained the majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives two years ago, we have been working to improve Iowa's business climate. I am excited to see the fruit of that work when I hear Iowa has the lowest unemployment in the nation.
Read the whole column in the Jan. 31 Kossuth County Advance.

Wide range of topics kick off the session

The 88th Session of the Iowa Legislature is in full swing. I am giving my attention to cleaning up a few bills that I tabled at the end of last year rather than just pushing them through prematurely.
One bill relates to the identification and management of infectious diseases in wildlife populations.
Read the whole column in the Jan. 31 Kossuth County Advance.

Expanding our health network: MercyOne and KRHC

These are exciting times at Kossuth Regional Health Center(KRHC). Our "us" just got a whole lot bigger. KRHC has been a part of the Mercy Health Network since 1986. Now we are celebrating and strengthening that relationship with the transition to the new Mercy Health Network brand of MercyOne.
Find out what it all means in the Jan. 31 Kossuth County Advance.

Gassman shares goals for 2019 legislative session

The first day of the Iowa House session was Jan. 14. I was excited to be back and working with the 88th General Assembly, where I will be working with the education, economic growth, environmental protection, local government and education committees and the budget subcommittee. It has been my honor to represent the people of District 7, and I look forward to continuing to serve for the next two years.
Read the complete Capitol Highlights in the Jan. 24 Advance.

Algona coffee mug made ... where?

One of the hazards of ordering a gift online, I have discovered, is if there is a glitch in the order, the resulting correspondence about said glitch can be daunting.
Not to say, insane.
Read Molly's full column in the Jan. 24 Advance.

Every student succeeds act and what it means at WB-M

The state has released new information on school performance, as required by a new federal law called the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA, for short.
The online Iowa school performance profile reflects how public schools performed on a set of core accountability measures based off the statewide assessment.
Read the full column in the Jan. 24 Advance.

Felons, voting

Gov. Kim Reynolds indicated her willingness to change Iowa law and allow people convicted of a felony to vote. In a current political and social landscape in which people are becoming quick to dispatch old ways of thinking and decisions previously determined to be common sense, she is probably in the majority.
Read the full column in the Jan. 24 Advance.

Of my Los Angeles Christmas misadventures

Remember that wonderful, old song by Tony Bennett, "I Left my Heart in San Francisco?" Well, I didn't leave my heart there, or anywhere else over Christmas. But, I left my wallet in Los Angeles. Not fun. Not fun at all. Also, it would make a song title with too many syllables.
Enjoy Molly's Ink Spots in the Jan. 10 Kossuth County Advance.

Orleans Island

We made our way back to the Mini and, having received recommendations to tour Ile d' Orleans (Orleans Island), a 30-by-8 kilometer-wide, at the widest point, island in the St. Lawrence River just outside of Quebec City to the northeast, we headed in that direction.
Read Jim's full column in the Jan. 10 Kossuth County Advance.

The tale of the Toymaker

There once was a toymaker.
But he was more than a toymaker. Call him an engineer, an architect, a designer, if you will. He created many fantastic things. He settled down to making toys, not because he couldn't make other things, but because toys delighted him so.
There were two special toys ....
Read the full column in the Dec. 20 Kossuth County Advance.

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