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First week of 84th General Assembly

The first week of Iowa’s 84th General Assembly is complete. It was an interesting week, if just because there are so many new members.

In the House, there are 29 new House members, and, only seven of them are Democrats. That’s obvious, of course, from the fact that the House now has a 60 – 40 split, with Republicans in charge.

In the Senate, there are ten new members, and, nine of them are Republicans. That’s why the Senate has gone from a 32-18 edge for Democrats in the 83rd session, to a 26 -23 split today. One seat is up for election next week and is likely to stay Republican.

Some of the new Senators are well known though, because they used to serve in the House, including Sen. Bill Dix, R-Shell Rock, Sen. Sandra Greiner, R-Keota and Sen. Kent Sorensen, R-Indianola.

If you have a new legislator, let them know who you are! Write or call your new legislator this week. There is no session for MLK Day, January 17.

HSB 1/HF 45 takes on ICN sale or lease
The first important legislative initiative of the new House Republican majority is a de-appropriation bill which began as HSB1 and has now morphed into House File  45.  It includes language which calls for an RFP for the sale or lease of the ICN, but, also includes language to allow the ICN to lease service to private companies. One fear is that these companies could then sell services via the ICN to Iowans who are not currently authorized users of the ICN.

Iowa Cable will keep a close eye on this and any other proposed ICN legislation again this year.

Iowa’s Agenda begins new season
Iowa’s Agenda, cable television’s half hour show on the members of Iowa’s General Assembly began a new season on January 12, 2011.  The show is produced by Mediacom Communications at its Des Moines Studio.

Iowa Cable’s Tom Graves interviewed Sen. Jerry Behn and Rep. Brian Quirk. The show airs every Thursday, Friday and Sunday on Mediacom Connections channel, mostly on channel 22. Next week the show will focus on the judicial retention issue and the idea of impeaching Supreme Court justices based on their gay rights’ decision.

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