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Inside the Iowa House by Jennifer Konfrst (September 15, 2022)

Iowans are exhausted and fed up with politics today. Frankly, so am I. With almost 50 days until the election, we know what’s next. TV ads, our mailboxes filling up, and lots of opinions on our Facebook feeds.

But here in Iowa, I’m proud of our long history of strong public schools, vibrant communities where neighbors look out for each other, and using common sense to get things done.

Iowans want their elected leaders to listen and then focus on the issues important to them. I couldn’t agree more.

For too long now, politics has gotten in the way of making progress on the Iowa values we all share. Released today, our new People Over Politics agenda is based on the priorities of Iowans and will be the roadmap for the Iowa House Democrats this fall and next session. The agenda has four main components that are all supported by a strong majority of Iowans, aimed at improving their lives: lowering costs, protecting reproductive freedom, investing in public schools, and legalizing marijuana. Let’s break it down.

Lowering costs for Iowans: Too many Iowans are still struggling to make ends meet today. Their wages simply aren’t keeping up with the rising costs of healthcare, food, child care, and utility bills. We need to make housing and child care affordable, raise wages, and lower taxes for working families instead of more handouts to big corporations.

Protecting reproductive freedom: Everyone deserves the right to make their own health care decisions, especially when it comes to reproductive care and abortion. We will guarantee reproductive freedom by adding it to Iowa’s Constitution.

Investing in public schools: For generations, Iowans have counted on our great public schools to educate our kids and be the heart of our communities large and small. But we’ve lost ground and our public school kids are losing out and teachers are leaving the classroom.  We must fully fund public schools to keep up with rising costs and make sure every kid, in every zip code gets a great education. We also need to raise pay for educators, give them a seat at the table, and stop the Governor’s private school voucher plan to ensure public money is used to help public schools.

Legalizing marijuana: A majority of Iowans support legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Legalizing marijuana for adult use will keep Iowans safe, stop our tax dollars from going to neighboring states, improve the quality of life for Iowans suffering from chronic illnesses, and stop wasting state resources to unfairly punish Iowans.

It won’t be easy and the problems we face today won’t be fixed overnight. Iowans have every right to be skeptical and we may not agree every time, but we’re committed to listening and fighting for the Iowa values we all share.

State Representative Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights serves the 43rd District in the Iowa House and is the Iowa House Democratic Leader.

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