Grassley: Spending a major issue for state

Rep. Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, feels state spending could be a divisive issue during 2013 legislative session, which opens Jan. 14.

He said there may be some in the Iowa House that want to spend the surplus funds, but he’s not of that mindset.

“I’m of the mentality that we need to get that money back to the taxpayer,” Grassley said. “To say that we should spend it all goes against what we’re elected to do.”

Grassley ran unopposed in the November election after winning the June primary election against another incumbent, Annette Sweeney of Alden.

His new district now includes all of Grundy County, northern Hardin County and southern Butler County.

A big issue he sees surfacing yet again is property tax reform – specifically for commercial property. The issue was expected to be addressed last year and nothing was done.

“We need to do something instead of talk about it,” Grassley said.

He is the new chair of the agriculture committee in the House and said he wants to make it an influential committee. Though he has no specific legislation on the ag side yet, he wants to help ensure long term viability for agriculture in Iowa. He also wants to help young people get involved in ag.

“How do we keep young people in agriculture and how do we attract young people to agriculture?” Grassley said.

There has been some talk about stricter gun control laws after the school shooting in Connecticut, but Grassley feels that might be more of a federal than state issue.

“I don’t see that coming up this legislative session,” Grassley said.