House Democrats gathered yesterday in Des Moines to set  priorities for the upcoming legislative session, which starts on January 10.

“With many Iowans still struggling to make ends meet, House Democrats are united in our commitment to keep the 2011 legislative session focused on new jobs and opportunities for Iowa families.  We believe that small businesses and renewable energy hold the greatest potential to create good-paying jobs for Iowans,” said House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines.

“To build a strong foundation for the economy, we will work to make sure all children get a quality education from preschool to higher education and keep good teachers in the classroom. House Democrats are also committed to making sure all kids have health care,” added McCarthy.

“In addition to responsibly balancing the state budget, we will work together with Republicans on main stream, bread and butter issues that impact the lives of Iowans but will hold Republicans accountable if they insist on pursuing a divisive, partisan agenda,” said McCarthy.

Rural Caucus Created

In addition, House Democrats voted today to create a Rural Caucus that will focus on giving Iowa’s rural economy a boost by focusing on rural job creation, meeting Iowa’s rural infrastructure needs, and guaranteeing adequate resources for rural schools. State Rep. Andrew Wenthe of Hawkeye was elected Chair of the Rural Caucus and Rep. Dan Muhlbauer of Crawford County was elected Vice Chair of the Rural Caucus.