From Rep. Joe Mitchell

Written by Theresa Rose on February 7, 2019

Newsletter Update

Another week is in the books here at the State Capitol and I feel confident in a lot of the great progress we are making here. Between chairing subcommittee meetings, working on finding the best deal for education funding, and discussing issues with the local media, I have been busy at work for the people of the 84th District.

 

Education 

As I promised during my campaign, I hold education close to home in the Iowa legislature.  Republicans have a strong history in Iowa for funding Iowa’s schools.  Since the 2011-2012 academic school year, Republicans in the Iowa legislature have increased education funding by $765 million, or about 30%. That is nearly triple the inflation rate during the same time period.  The funding over the years has added 3,100 new teachers, allowed for smaller class sizes and a lower student-to-teacher ratio (even with enrollment increasing), and increased teacher salary to nearly the highest in the country when adjusted for cost of living.

This week, my colleagues and I announced an agreement on K-12 funding for the 2019-2020 school year, resulting in an additional $89.3 million in new funding.  I am also proud to announce that $7.8 million will be going to Iowa’s rural schools to help reduce transportation costs and ensure more money for the classrooms.  I am looking forward to this agreement coming to the house floor next week so I can continue to fight for rural Iowa schools.

 

Judicial Nominating
Another top priority this session is bringing more fairness and accountability to Iowa’s merit-based judicial selection system.  Nominating commissions will continue to identify the best and brightest candidates to ensure that the best people become judges.

These reforms will bring more representation to Iowa’s nominating commissions and provide greater transparency to Iowa’s merit-based judicial selection process.  The changes give everyday Iowans a larger voice in the process and ensures accountability in the system. These reforms strengthen Iowa’s judicial selection process and help ensure that the best people become judges.

The system isn’t broken, but there are absolutely things that need to be fixed.  Under the current system, there is no check on the attorneys who select themselves. The attorneys and the Judicial Branch control a majority of the seats on these commissions without any oversight or check from the Executive or Legislative Branches.  There must be more accountability and transparency in the process.

 

Moving Forward
As I mentioned, I am excited about the work I have been able to get done thus far. I am even more excited about getting the opportunity to come home for legislative forums and learn from the people I work for. In the next few weekends, I will be visiting with school administrators and taxpayers back home. I also have an opportunity to answer questions and hear the opinions of constituents at my legislative forums across the district. Follow my Facebook page to keep up  to date on the location and times of the upcoming forums!

 

 

 

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