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The Rowley Report

Last week in the Senate I was mostly busy working on bills that came across my desk. Scheduling and attending subcommittee meetings are the first step to start the legislative process. I serve on: Commerce, Judiciary, Workforce, Health & Human Services, Appropriations and Ways & Means committees.

Legislative Update

This week was shortened a little do to The Martin Luther King Jr. Day as well as the caucus.

However, many of us are still able to work from our districts and keep things moving, so I am not sure it slowed much down.

Guest Commentary: Iowans say no to governor's special education cuts

The 2024 legislative session is off to a controversial start.

Lawmakers have already heard from thousands of Iowans concerned about a proposal offered by the Governor that would reduce mental health, special education, reading recovery and other services provided to kids in schools.

Gov. Reynolds issues open letter to Iowans on improving special education

Gov. Kim Reynolds released the following open letter to the state of Iowa:

If there’s an issue Iowans are most passionate about, it’s undoubtedly about our kids. As a grandmother of 11, ranging in age from pre-school to high school, I understand. There’s nothing more important than our children.

Guest Commentary: Permanently repealing the death tax

It takes a tremendous amount of hard work to start a small business and run a farm. From balancing the books and maintaining inventory to paying employees and complying with burdensome rules and regulations, these enterprises require long hours and real commitment to be successful and profitable.

Extension Outreach

Last time I encouraged record books and this time I want to say how excited I am for the number we received and for the quality. There is room for improvement, but the kids did the work and all have a place to work from for next year!

On the Side: Control, chaos and servanthood

The quadrennial invasion of Iowa is over.

Coffee shops are drained of caffeine-fueled reporters and campaign staffers.

The free publicity that comes with serving a legendary tenderloin or the most incredible barbecue a presidential candidate will experience has skipped town to temporarily reside in another state.

Guest Commentary: A start to the 90th General Assembly

The 2024 session of the 90th General Assembly convened on Monday, Jan. 8, with a somber tone in the aftermath of the shooting in Perry. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. We are grateful for the first responders and the lives they saved by their prompt response.

Pastor's Column: Exciting times

I look forward to this 2024th year of our Lord with great anticipation and excitement ― not because it is an election year, but because of all that is happening in and around Israel. I do not desire wars and the deaths they cause; however, we reason that these conflicts and wars involving Israel must, in time, have a resolution. It is the providence of this resolution which arouses me so, and here is why.

The CommStock Report: Putting butts in tractor seats is not as easy as it used to be

If you ask farm operators to list one of their biggest challenges in 2023, I think you would see "finding skilled labor" would probably be at the top of the list. While the COVID era seemed to dramatically shrink the sample pool of qualified labor available to many industries, this trend started long before that. Operators are going to have to try new things and adapt to this reality as long term, I don't see this changing.

One Man’s Perspective: Second life lost in tragic Perry shooting

He bravely rushed to confront the shooter, attempting to reason with the angry adolescent while providing a barrier between the armed teen and fleeing high school students.

His personal sacrifice undoubtedly saved a lot of young lives — allowing to grow older and hopefully live fruitful lives — while costing him his own.

Guest Commentary: How Iowans can call in the watchdog

As Iowa’s taxpayer watchdog, I hear from Iowans just about every day with concerns about state and local government. Oftentimes, there are steps my office can take to address those concerns; other times, the next step is as simple as directing folks to the best channel in state government to address their question.

Writers and Writing: Hynes novel pulls out all the stops

Sometimes a writer totally cuts loose, and harsh reality hits the reader squarely in the face.

Such is the case with Sparrow by James Hynes, graduate of and former instructor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Hynes, who was born in Okemos, Michigan, and grew up in Big Rapids, now lives in Austin, Texas.

Guest Commentary: I am tired of hearing all the faults that Iowa has ― truth be told, Iowa is a pretty good place to live

Iowa has been garnering quite a reputation lately, landing the top spot in several "best state" rankings. There's a lot to love about the Hawkeye State, and here are some reasons why it's been receiving so much recognition.

Extension Outreach: Clay County Extension and Outreach is moving

Maybe you’ve heard the news? ISU Extension and Outreach Clay County is getting a new home! As our program offerings have expanded, we have outgrown our space at Fourth and Grand. We considered our options, did our homework, and thought about the space we need to serve our community well. With that in mind, our Extension Council has been working hard to dream, plan, and fundraise with us to make this new space possible.

Pastor's Column: Jesus all year

The Christmas season is over. The decorations have been put away, and relatives got home safely two weeks ago. Life is returning to “normal,” whatever that means for each of us.

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