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Iowa Legislature opens today; Chamber plans Legislative Breakfast series; Information sought for 2013 Fairfield InfoGuide

Jan 14, 2013

Iowa Legislature opens today

DES MOINES (AP) — A new education proposal from Gov. Terry Branstad was the hot issue as the Iowa Legislature opened its 85th session today.

Lawmakers were sworn in about an hour after Branstad unveiled his plan to invest $187 million over five years in K-12 education.

The proposal calls for increasing minimum pay for entry-level teachers from $28,000 to $35,000 annually. Aspiring teachers also could be offered tuition assistance.

Branstad said he’d pay for the plan using the state’s nearly $1 billion budget surplus. He’s also expected to announce plans to cut commercial property taxes when he releases his full budget Tuesday.

In past years, Branstad has had difficulty in winning legislative support for his proposals. But he has signaled plans to collaborate more with lawmakers this time around. His administration also hopes that an influx of new House and Senate members and the use of surplus funds will improve chances for his initiatives.

Democratic and Republican leaders have indicated they have their own budget priorities.

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, told Republicans gathered at a party breakfast today that he wants much of the tax surplus to be spent on tax cuts.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, has said he’ll consider some tax cuts, but has his own education spending priorities, including investing in adult learning. Democrats have also expressed support for expanding Medicaid.


Chamber plans Legislative Breakfast series

The Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce will host the first installment of its Legislative Breakfast series for chamber members, their employees, spouses and guests Saturday at the Best Western Fairfield Inn.

The breakfasts are scheduled for 7:30 a.m. the third Saturday of each month Saturday, Feb. 16 and March 16, at the Best Western.

Local legislators Rep. Curt Hanson, Rep. Dave Heaton, Sen. Mark Chelgren and Sen. Rich Taylor have all been invited to speak on issues and bills coming before the 2013 General Assembly session.

Following their remarks, the floor will be opened for a question-and-answer period.

For reservations, information or to become a sponsor of the event, contact chamber administrator Lori Knox at 472-2111 or lknox@fairfieldiowa.com.


Information sought for 2013 Fairfield InfoGuide

Local clubs, churches, schools and other organizations are asked to provide information about their upcoming special events to The Fairfield Ledger by Friday for the 2013 Events Calendar section of its 10th annual Fairfield InfoGuide.

Information should include the name of the event, the sponsoring organization, date, time, location, details and a phone number, email address or website address to contact for additional information.

Information can be emailed to news@ffledger.com; mailed to PO Box 110, Fairfield 52556; or dropped off at 112 E. Broadway Ave. Information should be marked to the attention of “Fairfield InfoGuide.”

The Fairfield InfoGuide is a comprehensive look at the Fairfield community through informational news and advertising.

For information, call The Ledger newsroom at 472-2116.

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