The 2011 Iowa Legislature opened today and Democrats in the Iowa House pledged to keep the session focused on new jobs and opportunities for Iowa families.

“House Democrats are ready to put partisanship aside and help govern this great state. We are prepared to focus on bread and butter issues that affect the average, ordinary Iowan and keep the House focused on creating new jobs and opportunities for Iowans,” said House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines.

The 2011 Legislature runs 110 days and is scheduled to end on April 29th. This year, nearly one third of the members are new.

“With many families still struggling, we will work to expand efforts on renewable energy and help small businesses succeed. Democrats are also committed to strong schools that produce a highly-skilled workforce for the jobs of the 21st Century,” added McCarthy.

“However, if the day comes when the House ship has steered into stormy waters, focused instead on divisive issues, we will make our voices heard to steer that ship away from the extreme and back to the mainstream,” concluded McCarthy.