The Iowa legislature is heading into the second half of the session – and on Friday, local farmers and community leaders had an opportunity to visit with two area legislators about the progress so far this year.
The Delaware County Farm Bureau and Delaware County Economic Development hosted their annual Legislative Coffee at the Farm Bureau office, which is typically held twice during the legislative session.
State Senator Dan Zumbach of Ryan and State Representative Lee Hein of Monticello, both Republicans, spent over an hour updating the group and answering questions. Senator Zumbach says he thinks the legislative session has been very efficient.
Representative Hein says the session has been a busy one for him, as he’s been involved in two major bills.
The majority of the questions and feedback on Friday came from local school administrators – West Delaware Superintendent Dr. Kristen Rickey and Ed-Co Superintendent Rob Busch – bringing up several concerns regarding education, including the difficulty in finding teachers to fill positions in their school districts. Workforce shortages have been a problem across many sectors since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
And while legislators work on state issues in Des Moines, they’re also keeping up to date on everything happening on the other side of the world as Russia continues to invade Ukraine.
Iowans are feeling the effects of the Russian invasion, with gas prices skyrocketing – those were concerns shared with legislators on Friday too. Hein says he always appreciates discussing issues with constituents. Due to redistricting, he’ll no longer represent Delaware County next year – so this was his last Legislative Coffee in Manchester.
The legislative session typically wraps up around the end of April, so there is still plenty of work to do before then. Hein says they still need to put together the budget and there are still several smaller bills on the table. Both Hein and Zumbach believe this year’s legislative session should end on time this year.
photo courtesy of Janelle Tucker/KMCH