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NRA, Iowa Right to Life Endorse Rogers

 

CEDAR FALLS – State Representative Walt Rogers received endorsements for his reelection campaign this week from the National Rifle Association and Iowa Right to Life.

In addition to their endorsement, the NRA awarded Rogers its coveted “A” rating, expressing thanks for his support for the Second Amendment during his time in the Iowa House. Iowa Right to Life named Rogers its preferred candidate in House District 60 as well, citing his pro-life voting record.

Rogers said, “I am grateful to receive both of these endorsements. Protecting our right to life is one of the primary functions of government, and our Second Amendment rights protect all the rest of our rights.”

Walt Rogers was first elected to the Iowa House in 2010 by defeating an incumbent Democrat. Rogers was elected by his colleagues as an Assistant Majority Leader during his first term; he currently serves on the Appropriations, Education, Economic Growth, Administration & Rules, and Transportation committees. He was reelected in 2012 to represent the new House District 60, which includes southern Cedar Falls, southwest Waterloo, Hudson, and southwestern rural Black Hawk County.

Rogers has been married to Jenny for 33 years; they have three children and eight grandchildren. A graduate of Waterloo Columbus High School and the University of Northern Iowa, Rogers grew up in Waterloo and currently resides in Cedar Falls.

 

Capitol Review - End of Session

 

At the start of the 2014 session, House Republicans pledged to operate in a manner unlike Washington, D.C. Despite the highly partisan activities in the Iowa Senate, House Republicans proved, once again, that we can work together with Democrats on behalf of Iowans. House Republicans spent time and energy on bipartisan efforts in both 2013 and 2014 to effectively manage the state budget, create certainty for hardworking Iowa taxpayers, families and employers, and expand opportunities for Iowa’s veterans.  

Effectively Managed the State Budget

While states around us struggle to make their budgets work or are strangled by debt, we have created a fiscally strong and stable Iowa by fiercely sticking to these core principles:

  • Do not spend more money than the state takes in.
  • Do not use one-time money to pay for ongoing expenses.
  • Do not intentionally underfund entitlement programs to balance the state’s budget.
  • Return unused tax dollars to Iowa’s taxpayers.

Three years ago, Iowa faced a $900 million budget shortfall. As the 2014 session ends, Iowa is spending just 91% of what our expenditure limitation law allows, our budget reserves remain full, and the ending balance is projected to be $740 million. For the second consecutive year, House Republicans led the way on debt reduction. Over the last two sessions, $225 million in debt has been retired. Challenging budget times remain ahead, and Republicans remain steadfast in our commitment to responsible, common-sense budgeting.

Created Certainty for Iowa Taxpayers and Employers

With the constant overreach and intrusion from the federal government, Republicans were keenly aware of the challenges facing Iowa taxpayers and employers and worked to lessen the burdens they face at the state level.

House Republicans:

  • Created policies that embolden Iowa employers to invest in the state and the workforce through funding for skilled worker shortage grants, workforce training, adult literacy for the workforce, and tuition assistance.
  • Continued our collaboration with community colleges on workforce training and job creation and protected the funding by creating the Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund which now houses all of the worker training programs
    • Funded this at over $130 million total over the last two years
    • Of this, $33.8 million went to the High-Quality Jobs Program and $1 million to help companies hire STEM interns. 
  • Increased Community Colleges’ ability to educate Iowa’s workforce by increasing their general operating fund by $38 million over the past 4 years, a nearly 25% increase
  • Encouraged Iowans to pursue fields and careers to fill the technical and in-demand jobs Iowa employers are looking to hire.       Iowa’s community colleges have received nearly $40 million in general aid increases over the last four years.
  • Fought against any retreat on the historic property tax relief approved last session.

Capitol Review 4/21/14

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End of session stalled because of politics?

The 2014 legislative session began with pledges from Republicans and Democrats alike to refrain from the DC-style political potshots and partisanship that has infected any chance at success and cooperation.  Unfortunately, because of the focus on state employee settlement agreements, the work needed to wrap up the session has been sidetracked.

The Senate Oversight Committee focusing on the settlement agreements needs less politics, not more.  The coordination between Senate Democrats and the Jack Hatch for Governor campaign has been a hindrance to uncovering the truth.

House Republicans are interested in knowing the truth.  The truth is revealed through additional transparency.  HF2462 provides that additional transparency.

Senate Democrats have every intention of killing HF2462 and the additional transparency it provides.  The bill goes to the heart of the controversy regarding the confidential settlement agreements – why they happened in the first place.

Iowans now know the who, what, when and where – but Iowans do not know the why.  HF 2462 answers that fundamental question.

Capitol Review 4/13/14

One of the tools legislators have to promote the values of Iowans is called a “point of personal privilege.”  A point of personal privilege is an opportunity at the end of a day in the House to speak about any issue I want.  My experience is that opportunities to speak like this should be used sparingly.   On Monday I took advantage of this opportunity for the first time in four years, and I used my time to speak about state funding to the University of Northern Iowa.  Below is the video of that point of personal privilege.  Let me know your thoughts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MdJiWQNRQ0

House Passes Government Transparency Bill Banning Confidential Settlements

On Monday night, the Iowa House passed House File 2462, a bill which bans confidentiality/nondisclosure clauses in personnel settlement agreements.  In addition, the bill will disclose the reason and rationale that a public employee was fired, allowed to resign in lieu of being terminated, or demoted.  The bill opens state government up to more sunshine, making it more accountable to the people of Iowa.

House Democrats argued that the bill was unnecessary, as the state already has a law on the books that bans these types of confidentiality clauses.  But the facts would beg to differ, as settlement agreements using such nondisclosure clauses have surface from each of the past three administrations.  When all was said and done, 35 Democrats voted against transparency in state government, while 10 of their colleagues joined with all 53 members of the House Republican caucus.

This bill is a step in the right direction in shedding sunlight on an embedded practice in state government.  Since the Vilsack administration at least 37 settlements have included confidentiality provisions.  House File 2462 seeks to put an end to this practice.

 I have been an advocate for government transparency and I am proud to advance this bill.  I hope the Senate will also advance it to the Governor’s desk.

 

Address

PO Box 1142
Cedar Falls, IA 50613

 

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