STATE REPRESENTATIVE JULIAN B. GARRETT
Statehouse, Des Moines, IA 50319
The Reapportionment Commission has concluded its meetings around the State. I understand that there were not large numbers attending the meetings. The most complaints came from the Council Bluffs area where some complained about being placed in the same Congressional District as Polk County. We could be voting on the plan as early as Thursday. I have not heard many complaints from other legislators. Our district changes only a little to take into account the population growth we have experienced over the last ten years.
One Year or Two Year Budget
We continue to pass two-year appropriations bills in the House. The State budget is actually divided into seven parts, and different subcommittees develop and pass each one. The budgets are very complicated and detailed and this helps spread the workload. I am Vice Chairman of the Justice Systems Appropriations Subcommittee. We are responsible for submitting recommendations to the full Appropriations Committee for the Courts, Prisons, Highway Patrol and the Attorney General’s Office among others. We have passed two-year budgets that have been approved by the full Appropriations Committee and the full House, as have all the House subcommittees.
The Senate has passed a one-year budget for our area and the other areas as well. As you might expect, we propose spending less than the Democrats in either the House or Senate. So far the House Democrats have offered amendments to our budget bills that would have increased spending by $247.3 million.
The Governor has promised to veto any budget that does not cover two years. We did accept the Senate’s one-year appropriation for the Transportation budget and sent it to the Governor, so that he can veto it and help the Senate understand that he is serious about the two-year budgets. Hopefully, this will speed up the process in the long run. Right now I do not know how this controversy will be resolved. I believe the Governor when he says he will veto any budget that is not a two-year budget. It could be a long battle to settle this issue. We will also have to have an agreement between the House and Senate on the amounts we will spend. We are supposed to finish our work by the end of the month but I will not be surprised if we do not have a budget by then.
Both the House and Senate have passed SF 367, a bill requiring an ok from a medical professional before a young athlete who is suspected to have suffered a concussion can return to the game. The bill covers grades 7- 12 in public or private schools. The Governor has sign the bill.
Honoring World War II Vets
We will be honoring World War II Veterans in the House Chamber, on Monday, April 18, with a resolution at 1:00 p.m. Any World War Veteran is invited to come. After the resolution is voted on, there will be a ceremony on the first floor. I would be happy to see any veterans from our area who wish to attend. We owe much to our veterans.
My next forum will be at the Church of Christ, on Northwest 6th, in Earlham on Saturday morning, April 16, at 10:00 a.m.
As always please feel free to contact me with your ideas or concerns.