I am going to admit that the last week, felt like the tenth week of our Legislative Session. The opening of the 89th General Assembly was more subdued with less people in attendance and families not allowed on the floor during our oath of office. There were Representatives visibly missing, clerk chairs were removed and only a hand full of minority party members attended the "State of the State" addresses by our Governor, Chief Justice and Adjunct General of the National Guard. Committee Rooms have changed and meetings are now being broadcast live so that the lobby and public in attendance can view and comments are submitted in writing for those not in the room. Although there is no mask mandate at the State Capitol, all staff and nearly every Representative in the House have chose to wear them. The Iowa Department of Public Health have set the guidelines, if you are exposed but both you and the other person are wearing masks, you can continue to work and self monitor for symptoms. I have chosen to wear a mask, because you have sent me to Des Moines to work on your behalf. If I would have to quarantine because I didn't follow guidelines, it removes your voice from the statehouse for 10-days. That is a lot of time legislatively. We do what we have to do.
I am an optimist, and yes it was a very different week and a little rough. But, there are many great things happening in our State. We are in one of the best economic places in the nation, with a balanced budget and our rainy day funds and reserves full. Our Legislative session began on time. I have been assigned a new committee and will chair the Commerce Committee, and I am looking forward to helping small business recover and grow. There are new opportunities for you to view behind the scenes work by joining our committee meetings virtually and we will soon move to phase B1 in our Covid-19 vaccination process. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel and that is great news!
I want to take a quick moment to introduce you to my new clerk. Her name is Kristi Bries and she is a student at ISU. Her hometown is Worthington in District 57, and her family owns and operates a large farming operation. She just completed her first week and did a fantastic job, considering there is so much to learn. It is great having a clerk from home who is as passionate about life in Dubuque County as I am.
As always, I am here to help you in any way I can, and I welcome your emails, phone calls and text messages. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and our district.
Representative Shannon Lundgren
District 57 ~ Peosta, Iowa
Committees: Commerce Chairwoman
Budget Committee: Health & Human Services