GOP: Majority Leader Hagenow’s Opening Remarks for the 88th General Assembly

January 14, 2019
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House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow (R-Urbandale) delivered opening remarks to the Iowa House of Representatives today.  The following are his remarks, as prepared for delivery:

Thank you Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, ladies and gentlemen of the House.  It is an honor to welcome you, your families and friends back to the Statehouse to begin the 88th General Assembly.

Speaker Upmeyer, the House of Representatives continues to be blessed by your leadership and it is an honor to serve alongside you.

To my Republican colleagues, thank you for the trust you have placed in me by electing me to serve as your leader. I am excited for what we will be able to accomplish together.

To our new members, congratulations and welcome.  While this may be your first time swearing the oath of office that others in this body have sworn many times, each member brings unique ideas, perspective, and experiences – all of which help shape the laws and direction of our state.  I look forward to your service.

Leader Pritchard, congratulations on your new role. I look forward to working with you and your caucus. Last General Assembly, over 88% of the bills we passed were bipartisan.  I am hopeful we can move that number even higher.

My most important thank you goes to my team at home – my wife, Amanda, and our three children, Owen, Noah and Sophia.

From our work last General Assembly, families and small businesses now keep more of their hard-earned money, schools have record funding and greater flexibility, more Iowans have access to affordable health care, gaps in our mental health system are closing, and workers are accessing innovative training for 21st Century careers.

I have been asked many times, “so much was accomplished the last two years, what’s next?”

While the specifics of “what’s next” will be brought forward through all one-hundred members introducing legislation and ideas and working them through the process, what Iowans can and should expect is this:  House Republicans will remain unwavering in our principals.

We will pass a budget that is both fiscally responsible and funds the priority needs of Iowans. Iowans expect us to be responsible stewards of their hard-earned tax dollars, and we will always keep the taxpayers of Iowa in mind through the budget process.

We continue to hear from employers across Iowa that the availability of a skilled workforce is their biggest challenge to growing their businesses. Connecting our K-12 schools with community colleges and local businesses will help assemble the workforce of tomorrow.

Future Ready Iowa is a key part of the solution. We want to continue building off of last year’s bipartisan efforts, and look forward to working with Governor Reynolds and the Senate to take the next step forward.

House Republicans are going to continue to protect and advance our freedoms.  Freedom from unnecessary government regulations and overreach into our lives.  Freedom for parents to choose the educational setting for their children.  Freedom for gun owners, as the right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in our state constitution.

Also, House Republicans will be unapologetic in our fight to protect unborn life.

The people of Iowa have entrusted Republicans with a governing majority in this chamber, in the Senate and in the Governor’s office. It is our responsibility to once again challenge the status quo.  It is our task here to continue charting a new course for a brighter future.

May God continue to bless us, our citizens and the great State of Iowa.  Thank you Madam Speaker.

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