The 2015 Iowa Legislature opened today and 43 Democratic members were officially sworn in to office to the Iowa House of Representatives.

A quality education is the key to building our skilled workforce and growing our economy. We need to make sure every child has access to preschool, invest in our k-12 education system, and keep higher education and job training affordable so workers can develop the skills needed to land good jobs.

Some of the priorities for this year include: expanding job training opportunities; raising the minimum wage; expanding early childhood education; improving access to broadband; and encouraging more production and use of renewable energy.

Good jobs and quality schools are critical to re-vitalizing rural Iowa. We need to help our local small businesses expand to create jobs and make sure all our kids graduate with the skills needed to land a good job in our community. We need to work with my colleagues to keep our ag economy strong and add value to the crops for our farmers by expanding renewable energy like wind, solar, and biofuels.

The 2015 Legislature runs 110 days and is scheduled to adjourn on May 1st.