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Bergan Report

Greetings from the State House,

The Iowa House of Representative began its session on Monday, January 9 with its typical formalities. A joint convention of the House and Senate was convened to hear the address by Governor Kim Reynolds with the Condition of the State on Tuesday evening. Chief Justice Susan Larson Christensen provided the 2023 Condition of the Judiciary on Wednesday. Major General Benjamin J. Corell reported on the Iowa National Guard Thursday morning.

Governor Reynolds assures us the condition of the state of Iowa is strong. Iowans have demonstrated resiliency in dealing with the challenges of Covid-19, as we continue to adapt in response to the disruption of the pandemic. The Governor presented her priorities for legislative action including providing school choice to all parents, utilizing educational savings accounts for students attending accredited non-public schools. The proposal, House Study Bill 1, differs from prior proposals, allowing for $7,598 state contribution to an ESA and also provide $1,205 to the resident public school. The proposal also provides additional flexibility to public schools in their spending, reducing restrictions that can allow for increasing teachers’ salaries. The governor also expressed support for maternal health and child development supports as well as reorganization of state government.

Chief Justice Christensen focused on the importance of listening. She highlighted some areas of need for our Judiciary that she asked be addressed. Over the past year her involvement in listening to stakeholders in our court system have highlighted the needs for court reporters, court appointed attorneys, and the benefit of Parent Partners in supporting parent’s reunification with their children.

The Iowa National Guard is commanded by Major General Corell, offering his annual address. The general highlighted the service of our guardsmen in protecting Iowa, our nation, and the world. The Iowa National Guard’s motto is “Always Ready, Always There.”

Our state Capitol is a remarkable building and worth the time and effort to visit. It is amazing to see the activity while the legislature is in session. I had a visit from the staff and a client of Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation’s FaDSS program. The Family Development for Self Sufficiency program is involved with life changing work helping families overcome barriers to become employed and successful. Neil Shaffer and Riley Wilson from Howard County were at the Capitol to share their work on soil conservation efforts in the district. I was fortunate to be able to take Neil and Riley on an extended tour of the Iowa dome.

I appreciate the opportunity to meet with constituents. Kindly notify me of your intended visit to assist in scheduling time to meet. I can be reached by email at

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