Let’s talk politics

MASON CITY, Iowa - We’re now more than a month into the 2014 Iowa legislative session, and local lawmakers are taking some time to talk with area residents.

On Saturday, State Sen. Amanda Ragan and State Rep. Sharon Steckman met with constituents in Mason City to talk about a couple of their hot topic issues for this year.

Monday marks the kick-off of ‘funnel week’, a time when lawmakers narrow down and vote on different bills they plan to keep and work on for the rest of the session.

Pre-schooling for four-year-olds and curriculum for home schooling were two main topics of focus at the forum.

“Education is huge,” Rep. Steckman said, “we have almost 500,000 kids in public education and we need to let the districts know what they have for their budget so they can plan and proceed without handing out pink slips and making class sizes bigger.”

Sen. Ragan discussed a variety of topics as well, including elder care.

“We are working with all of the people that are involved in elder abuse issues and trying to make sure that we get a good piece of legislation to really help our people who are the most vulnerable out there,” Ragan said.

Forums like the one on Saturday, are valuable for not only the community to hear from their politicians, but for politicians like Ragan and Steckman to hear from their community.

“It educates us on what people are thinking about, and it also helps us know what the issues are that are important to people around our area.”

Both women are heading back to Des Moines on Monday to continue their work at the capitol, but they both say they hope to have more constructive forums like this in the future.

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