2020 End of Session Remarks

Iowa House Democratic Leader Todd Prichard

 

Good afternoon ladies and gentleman.

As we turn our thoughts and plans for heading home, I want to thank you all for your work for Iowans. You have been leaders in your districts in a time of crisis. 

First off, thank you to all the legislative staff, including LSA, clerks, pages, and doormen for putting in countless hours to make our important work possible. A big thank you to the democratic leader’s staff, Jake and Dean, and the caucus staff, Joe, Dave, Brian, Joe, Kelsey, Alison, Jessica, Bill, and Rachelle. 

At the end of a year that has led down a path no one could have predicted, we should ask ourselves, did we do right by Iowans in these unprecedented times? 

In some ways, we did. 

This body came together to make a united statement in taking the first step for racial justice.

My thanks to the Legislative Black Caucus for your leadership and tireless efforts in the fight for justice. In addition to the thousands of Iowans who spent day after day demanding change from us, the bi-partisan legislation would not have passed a few days ago without the years of work and countless conversations you have had with colleagues in this chamber that built trust and led to a better understanding of the challenges you face every day. 

The bill we passed was long overdue. We know difficult conversations are ahead. We pledge to listen and stand with you.   

Some have expressed surprise that the leaders of both parties co-sponsored a bill, but it should surprise no one.

We all support justice and we should all strive for it. It should not be so rare that we do work together.

As we return home, be safe, because the threat from COVID is not over.

As Democrats, we proposed several ideas that struck the delicate balance between keeping Iowans healthy and getting Iowans back to work. There is more we could have done during this COVID session to keep workers safe, make sure healthcare is affordable and accessible, gives businesses the tools they need to be successful, and gives every child a world class education in a safe environment.

Instead of working on COVID relief together, the majority party passed legislation in the closing hours of session to stop Iowans from voting and passed more restrictions on a woman’s right to make her own health decisions.  

While we should have worked together to do more for COVID relief, Democrats will keep listening and working to help our communities recover.    

As I close, I leave you with these thoughts. 

The true test of leadership is not what you do when times are easy and things are going well, it is what you do when things are tough and uncertain. 

In times like today, with worldwide fear and unrest, future generations will judge our leadership. Over the next year, we’ll have to decide if we’re going to rise to the occasion and make it our finest hour. 

Be safe, take care and god bless.