The Chelgren Report by Sen. Mark Chelgren
Session report for week 1.
This week the Eighty-Fifth General Assembly began following a busy presidential election year.
I would like to congratulate the new senators and representatives and thank all of those who had the courage to stand up for their principals and participate in the election process.
Gov. Terry Branstad delivered the 2013 Condition of the State address in the House Chamber Jan. 15. I was heartened that Branstad remains steadfast on reducing property taxes and equalizing tax classes to conform to the Iowa Constitution.
The details of the governor’s education improvement plans are still being released and studied. I am looking forward to reviewing them as well. The governor’s push regarding support for doctors pertaining to frivolous law suits when establishing their practices is also encouraging.
Chief Justice Caddy delivered the State of Judiciary address Jan. 16. As a member of the Justice System Appropriations Subcommittee I will be taking an in-depth look at the funds needed by Iowa’s Judicial Branch. We must fulfill our Constitutional duties to the judicial system in order to ensure that our courts function efficiently and in a timely manner.
I am proud to serve on the Veterans Affairs Committee this session. I am concerned that President Obama’s proposal to require doctors to mandatorily report gun owners breaches the honest dialog between doctors and their patients. Veterans that may be struggling with minor depression would no longer trust their doctors or the mental health community for fear of losing their constitutional rights that they have personally fought for. I will fight adamantly for every law-abiding American citizen to defend themselves, their families, and their property.
Another concern is the discussion over merging Iowa counties. For instance in my senate district, Davis and Van Buren counties could fall under the control of larger counties such as Wapello or Jefferson. As an advocate for local control and small town Iowa values, it is important that we continue to support our smaller communities. I will fight to keep this overreach from happening.
“I swear to support the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Iowa. So help me God.”