This was week 5 in the Senate and it was a very productive week! There were a number of exciting things that I was a part of this week.
I was assigned as the chair for SSB 1144, which is a bill that was proposed by the governor. I was so excited when I was asked to be chair for a bill the governor proposed to make some great adjustments to the current Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program. This bill opens up the beginning farmer tax credit to more beginning farmers by allowing a taxpayer to enter into multiple agreements. Also, by taking out the land lease requirement, it expands the applicability to more parcels of land for more agricultural purposes. This week, I was chair of this bill in my subcommittee meeting, where the two senators, plus myself, recommended passage of the bill. Thursday, I then ran it through the Agriculture Committee. This was only the second bill I ran in a committee meeting, the first one being done on Wednesday. Like I have said before, the best way to learn things here in the Senate is to just do it! This was an exciting experience for me and I am eager to run this bill in floor debate next.
Tuesday morning, before session, I spoke with Braxton Morrison who was advocating for “Stop the Bleed Kits” to be put into schools. It was very insightful listening to Braxton’s ideas for putting these kits into schools and I am excited to continue to work with him on this initiative. Every week, I am reminded how passionate and intelligent my constituents, as well as all Iowans, are.
The rest of my week was spent attending subcommittee and committee meetings. This week was busier than the past four because there was more of an urgency for bills to move through all the different processes before specific deadlines. Thursday afternoon, I met with the Executive Officer for the Bureau of Professional Licensure and other professionals from the Iowa Department of Public Health to speak about the first bill I had drafted. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned how I met with some constituents regarding starting a barber apprenticeship program. This week, I received a draft of that bill and wanted to share the draft with some experts in the field. I never imagined that my first bill I would have drafted would be about barber apprenticeships, but it is a great proposal
As I say every week, this has been such an amazing experience for me. I learn something new in the Senate every day and although it has been challenging at times, I have already grown so much as a person and as a state senator!