Getting the 2022 legislative session started

Welcome to the first Minute with Mike of the second session of the 89th General Assembly. First of all, I want to thank the voters of House District 10 for this unbelievable opportunity to serve you in this beautiful building. Secondly, I want to thank my family, especially my wife, Becky. I could not do this job without unwavering support back home. As hard as this job is sometimes, it is twice as hard being the one left at home to keep things on track. I want to thank all of you that have helped Becky and me with all of the parades and community events this past summer; I cannot express how grateful I am to have all of you in my life. I am always so humbled by the sense of community and support that has afforded me this privilege to serve as I walk up the Capitol steps on the first day of session.

As a state representative I was elected to represent the whole of my district–including those of you that do not agree with me on issues. Please do not let this stop you from reaching out to me on issues. Unlike Washington, DC, I believe it is my responsibility to listen to you and understand your points and opinions. We may not always agree, but I will work to understand the way you feel.

My goal with this newsletter is twofold–mixing some specifics of how the legislature works as well as addressing some of the bills and issues we present in the legislature. If you need more in-depth information on a specific subject or a bill, please just email my clerk, Shelby, at mike.sexton@legis.iowa.gov . She can find the information you are looking for and get it back to you.

The legislature is set up on a two year cycle that coincides with the elections in even numbered years. Last year was the first session of the 89th General Assembly and it ran for 110 days. This year is the second session of the 89th General Assembly and it will last 100 days. As most you know it can run longer than the allocated days, but we only get paid for the designated days – anything over that is on our dime. That is the incentive for us to get your work done and go home.

Last year I was elected by my colleagues to be one of their leaders, assuming the position of majority whip. It is an exciting, but challenging role. I will still be in that position as it is for a two-year term.

My committees are pretty much the same as last year. The only change being I volunteered to leave Environmental Protection to make room for two new members that were elected in special elections this year. I now serve on:

• Administration and Rules

• Agriculture

• State Government

• Judicial Budget Sub-Committee (Vice-Chair)

• Administrative Rules Review Committee

For those of you that are regular readers, I apologize as some of this may be a little redundant. The first week mainly consists of speeches and the first committee meetings. Here’s an overview of the first week of session:

Tuesday – Gov. Reynolds gave the Condition of the State

Wednesday – Acting Chief Justice Susan Christensen presented the Condition of the Judiciary

Thursday – Maj. Gen. Benjamin Corell gave the Condition of the Iowa Guard

In addition to the speeches, each of the committees met for an organizational meeting which consists of introductions and short speeches from the chairs and ranking members about their thoughts on what their respective committees can achieve over the course of the session. We then adopt the rules for the committee and are now ready to get to work next week.

During a special session in October the legislature passed and the governor signed into law the new Congressional and legislative maps which will go into effect after the election this November and will be in place for the next 10 years. I have had several folks ask me why we had to change districts. These changes are required by the constitution to be made as they are tied directly to the census that is performed every 10 years. It is required by law that all representatives and senators represent the same amount of people therefore, all of the population data received from the federal government is used to create new maps. As you can imagine, over the period of 10 years rural areas become less populated and urban areas become more populated, so the redistricting process is in place to make sure all elected offices represent the same amount of people from congress all the way to school boards and city councils.

My current district is House District 10 which includes all of Calhoun, Pocahontas, Humboldt and the western part of Webster. I have announced that I am running for the new district which will be House District 7 and will include all of Calhoun, Pocahontas, Sac and a bigger part of Webster County.

This is the website for the legislature https://www.legis.iowa.gov/ . From this site you can find out about committees, bills, watch debate and a ton of other things. I encourage you when you have some free time to go there and look around all of the information that pertains to what we do down here.

I look forward to hearing from you as we move through the legislative session.

State Rep. Mike Sexton, R-Rockwell City, represents House District 10.


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