DES MOINES — Senator Jake Chapman (R-Adel) says there is much to accomplish with the Iowa legislative session that starts Monday at the capitol.
After last session’s session was fragmented into two parts because of the new coronavirus pandemic, business was still conducted by lawmakers and Chapman said the main goal this session, from his perspective, will be to continue what has been started.
“Last year was an interesting session. We had to adapt very quickly and there was a lot of uncertainty with a new disease we didn’t know much about that we now know a little more about,” Chapman said. “Despite that, I think we still had a very successful session.”
Chapman said that Iowa is still being viewed by other states as a model for sustained fiscal responsibility that, in his mind, will help Iowa financially weather the pandemic better than others.
“I think we continue to stay the course. There are going to be procedural changes we’re going to make this session but it’s not going to change the policy,” Chapman stated. “I think voters made it very clear this last election that not only was it a referendum election but it was also a mandate to push forward, focusing on those issues that are important to Iowans.”
Two items Chapman expects will be important this year are education and economic growth — economic growth because he says some parents are upset learning at their schools are virtual and some are upset with mask mandates and economic growth because the economy here needs to be continually spurred.
“As we come out of this pandemic, how can we economically spur growth here in the state? We implemented the largest tax cut in Iowa’s history, and that’s still being phased in. We’re still seeing record numbers of revenue coming into the state, so we need to go further so we can continue to start that economic engine back up, get people back to work and grow our economy as never before,” Chapman said.
The only committee Chapman will sit on is the Commerce committee. He said he’s eager to play a role in legislation that will specifically impact businesses as the pandemic eventually fades. Otherwise, Chapman’s main focus will be in leading the senate.
“I need to make sure as the presiding officer of the senate that things are done orderly and I’m really looking forward to that role,” he said.