STATE SENATE REPORT: Dawn Driscoll

Sitting in a subcommittee meeting with my colleague as other colleagues and lobbyists joined in via Zoom.

Despite the weather, I worked at the Capitol every day during the third week and I was very busy! I spent most of my days doing research on the bills and attending subcommittee meetings. The weather did cause some of my meetings to get cancelled, but I used that time to speak with other senators on their views on the legislation that had been proposed this week.
 
All of Thursday was spent in the Senate chamber as we debated a number of bills. This was my first experience of this and it was very interesting to be a part of. I did not know what to expect walking into the chamber on Thursday, but learned a lot more of what it will be like from now on. I listened to many senators give their opinion, and argue for and against the proposed bills and amendments. There were many controversial bills so it turned into a very late night in the Senate. Although it was a long day, these are the days that I am so honored to be a part of. Voting on my first bills was an experience I will never forget.
 
A major bill of debate was SF 159, the Students First Act/Scholarship. This was legislation that no senator took lightly, including myself. I spent countless hours since Monday doing research on this subject. This research included listening to senators both for and against this bill, speaking with the Governor’s Office, and hosting a meeting with a number of superintendents from my district. All of this was in order to gain more knowledge and insight on the subject in order to ensure that I voted in a way that represents the majority of my constituents. With all of this being said, I decided to vote no on SF 159. From meeting with educators and professionals representing Benton, Iowa, and Poweshiek, I believe this was the right decision. Their statements were overwhelmingly opposed to passing this bill and I was elected to represent my constituents, so that is what I did. Although this was a rather stressful experience, I was up for the challenge.
 
It is hard to believe that it is only my third week as State Senator for District 38. I have now already attended four subcommittee meetings and have been assigned to many more. I have really been enjoying my duties and love speaking with my constituents on their ideas and/or concerns. I am learning so much about the legislative process and am realizing how passionate my constituents, as well as all Iowans are!

Firefighters thanking me and my colleagues (Senator Cournoyer and Senator Koelker) for supporting their bill.

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