Speaker Grassley's Opening Remarks for the 2022 Legislative Session
(DES MOINES) -- Speaker of the House Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford) delivered opening remarks to the Iowa House of Representatives today. The following are his remarks, as prepared for delivery:
"Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen of the House. It’s great to be back with all of you today. Although this is the second session of this General Assembly, a couple of things look different than they did one year ago. So some welcome notes are in order.
First, we have two new members of the Iowa House to welcome to their first official legislative session. Representative Mike Bousselot and Representative Jon Dunwell, you’ve both already been here for a special session, but welcome to your first full legislative session. I know you will both work hard and be a strong voice for your constituents.
Minority Leader Konfrst, I know you’ve also had some time to settle into your new role. Welcome to the first day of your first official session as Minority Leader. As you know, while it’s the disagreements that will be the focus this session, majority of the bills we pass are bipartisan. I look forward to working with you in this new capacity to deliver policies to help Iowans in every corner of this state.
While some things have changed, some have stayed the same. Majority Leader Windschitl, this will be our third session working together on behalf of the Republican caucus. I look forward to all that we will continue to accomplish.
Yet again this session, I owe a big thank you to my family.
When my dad got COVID-19 this fall, I gained a true appreciation for all that he does to keep the farm running while I’m in Des Moines.
My three kids’ schedules don’t slow down just because dad’s in session.
It takes a village, and without everyone’s support back home, I really couldn’t be here to do this job.
I’m eager to get back to working with all of you on behalf of the people of Iowa. This session, we’ve got our work cut out for us to meet the moment that we’re in as a state.
Because of responsible budgeting practices, and the decision to keep the state as open as possible, Iowa’s economy is strong. We have a healthy ending balance, our reserves are full, and the Taxpayer Relief Fund has reached a whopping $1 billion dollars. Last session, we sped up the largest tax cut in state history, while allocating record investments in Iowans’ priorities, such as Public Safety, Corrections, Broadband, and Education.
This is something every Iowan can understand. The state is taking in more in tax money than it needs. And Iowans deserve their money back.
We must return this money to the Iowa taxpayer. Decisions made by the Biden Administration have led to record-high inflation that is hurting Iowa families. Iowans need relief now.
The Iowa House Republican caucus has a reputation of being responsible and forward-looking while delivering sustainable tax relief. That won’t stop in 2022.
Across the country, we’re facing workforce shortages and supply chain issues, and Iowa is no different. Iowa’s economy has 64,000 unemployed Iowans and 110,000 unfilled jobs. An economy that is creating jobs is always a great sign, but now we need to channel more of our efforts toward filling the jobs we already have open.
There won’t be one single bill that solves this issue. It needs to be a holistic approach. We need to get creative and we need to work together, along with the Governor and the Senate.
Additionally, we can’t solve a workforce shortage without increasing access to quality, affordable child care. Iowa House Republicans have taken the lead on this issue and we’ve had some meaningful policies passed and signed by the Governor. But there’s more we can do and it will remain a priority this session.
And finally, we need to ensure that we’re here to hold the line and protect the freedom of Iowans. We’ve already seen the lengths the President’s Administration is willing to go to infringe on the rights of individual Iowans, parents and businesses. We cannot let that happen here in Iowa. We must push back.
Thank you all for the opportunity to lay out a few agenda items this morning as we begin our session. I know over the next four months we will be engaging in meaningful and passionate discussions on many more issues than the ones I just mentioned. I look forward to the healthy debate that will take place in this chamber in the coming months - even those that take us past midnight - on the many issues that are important to Iowans.
Now it’s time to get to work."