DES MOINES, Iowa- The result of a polarizing Presidential Election turned in to a surge of GOP votes in many states including the state of Iowa. The Iowa Republicans now control the House Senate and Governors Office.
Though local representatives say there are some uncertainties such as how they will deal with a more than $100 million shortfall in the budget, to how the shift in power will affect bipartisan deals, the issues lawmakers are facing are well known: coming up sustainable funding for water quality initiatives and education funding, a voter ID law, and potential restrictions on abortion.
“It’s going to be a bit of a mandate to get some things done,” says Republican State Representative Terry Baxter. “As I look at the election in Iowa specifically I believe that it might’ve been our people saying to us ‘we’re tired of gridlock down in Des Moines.’ I think you’ll see the Republicans do some conservative things but some common sense things, and we’ll work together across the aisle and have a good working relationship.”
“Things could move pretty quickly because we don’t need to form bipartisan support,” says Democratic State Representative Todd Prichard. “The Republicans have the votes in the both the Senate and the House and the governors office to kind of move their agenda the way they want to move it.”
Though there isn’t a need for House Republicans or Senators to work across party lines, local representatives say it is important to listen to all ideas regardless of party affiliation.
“I think as a state government one of the things we have to do is take care of our less fortunate or children those sorts of things in a bipartisan way,” says State Representative Sharon Steckman.
“As we look at all of the issues that are going to come up or we need to make sure that we’re taking a sensible practical approach, Says Republican State Senator Waylon Brown. “I want to look at all the legislation going to make sure were doing what’s right for the state of Iowa.”
It is not yet known when Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will assume his new position as the Ambassador of China, but local lawmakers say he plans to try and get some of his priority issues tackled before he resigns as Governor potentially leaving current Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds as the new Governor.
“I think he’ll be able to get his opinion heard even as far away as China I really do and Lt. Gov. Reynolds has been his sidekick for the last 6 years, so she knows how he would have wanted things,” says Representative Steckman.
“There are some things that Governor Branstad would really like to see done while he still here,” says Iowa Senator Dennis Guth. “We are going to try and put those things first and some of the other things we will want to put together a little bit later.”