Rep. Greg Heartsill (R-Columbia) has spent a great deal of time the past several weeks, reaching out to fellow legislators for support of his “Common Sense and Accountability” agenda. This includes:
I. Government Reform
-Reorganize state government where divisions, bureaus and agencies of similar functionality fall under the same umbrella
-Create a “Public Official Academy” to train education, county, municipal, and regional elected officials on the codes applicable to their public service, their authorities, their fiduciary and statutory responsibilities
II. Education Reform
-Opt out of No Child Left Behind
-Eliminate the funding of non-existent students
-Streamline the bureaucracy so that monies allocated to education are actually spent on student instruction
-Mandate the publishing of full, accurate, and complete academic data to the citizens of Iowa that has been independently audited
III. Personal Responsibility and Human Dignity Reform
-Require work as a condition of receiving welfare benefits
-Require a G.E.D. (or the acquisition of a G.E.D.) as a condition of receiving welfare benefits
-Require drug testing as a condition of receiving welfare benefits. The first failed drug test results in probation and scheduled testing. The second failed test results in mandated treatment. The third failed test results in suspension from benefits until it can be demonstrated the recipient is clean.
-Require the use of state-issued photo identification to activate and utilize food stamp cards in Iowa
-Require the State of Iowa to comply with Federal Law in providing welfare benefits to legal citizens only.
“It's looking good,” Heartsill said of his prospects for support in the House of Representatives. “I'm encouraged by it.”
He said the idea is gaining momentum with his fellow legislators, whom he is reaching one at a time.
Beyond that, House Republicans intend to work to make Iowa a competitive environment to attract business and industry to the state. One way in which they hope to do that is by improving infrastructure, which is something Republicans and Democrats agree upon. Differences arise among the legislators when the topic of funding any of these projects comes to the surface.