Bergan Report

By: News Release
Jan 13th, 2018

January 12, 2018
Greetings from the State House
The 2018 legislative session began with its traditional ceremony. The House opened session Monday, as every day, with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Opening speeches were given by the House Majority Leader Hagenow, Minority Leader Smith and Speaker Upmeyer.
A joint convention of the House and Senate welcomed Governor Kim Reynolds for her Condition of the State Address on Tuesday. Reynolds recognized the strengths of Iowans and the opportunities the future holds. Reynolds shared her priorities for the legislature in passing water quality legislation, developing a skilled workforce, funding K-12 education, improving mental health services, addressing the opioid epidemic, overcoming challenges in Medicaid, and reforming Iowa’s income tax structure. The governor has set a positive tone for our agenda.
Wednesday, Iowa Supreme Court Justice Mark S. Cady addressed the joint convention with his report on Iowa’s judicial system. The significant third branch of Iowa’s government, our court system, provides the essential role in a balance of powers and in applying our constitution, state code and common law to address issues and disputes in our state. Cady
highlights several positive successes with juvenile justice reform and interventions, as well as specialty courts. Cady advised legislators that we face future challenges through retirement of judges, timeliness in facilitating cases, and information technology supports. Cady highlighted the 150th anniversary of Alexander Clark vs. Board of School Directors, noting Iowa’s leadership in the determination that segregation was a violation of Iowa law and the Iowa State Constitution.
Major General Timothy Orr, made his address to the joint convention on Thursday. Gen. Orr highlighted the Iowa National Guards preparedness and involvement in the safety and security of our state, nation and worldwide activities. Current deployments, collaborative efforts in drug trafficking interventions, and a summary of involvement in response to natural disasters affecting Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico were highlighted.
Area residents traveled to Des Moines to participate in advocacy efforts, often in conjunction with statewide meetings and trainings. MiEnergy Cooperative board members were in attendance Tuesday at a welcome reception held at the State Historical Museum of Iowa. FaDSS [Family Development and Self-Sufficiency] workers from Northeast Iowa Community Action were at the Capitol on Wednesday, sharing information and successes of their program with area legislators in seven NE Iowa counties. EARL Public Transit was represented on Thursday by Transportation Director Curt McNew, discussing operations in Allamakee, Clayton, Winneshiek, Fayette, and Howard Counties. Please send an email or notification of your visit to the Capitol during the session.
Very truly yours,
Representative Michael Bergan
House District 55, portions of Clayton, Fayette, and Winneshiek Counties