Fisher adjusts to hectic legislator schedule

Several weeks into his first term in office, Rep. Dean Fisher, R-Garwin, said he is learning quite a bit – especially about the long days of a legislator – during the session.

“It’s a little more hectic than what I anticipated,” he said. “There’s meetings and stuff going on all the time. You are running from one end of the Capitol to the other.”

Throughout the busy schedule, Fisher is soaking as much information in as he can.

“The one main thing I’ve learned is I have a lot to learn,” he said.

The farmer represents House District 72, which includes portions of Marshall County, all of Tama County and southern Black Hawk County.

He has learned that even something that seems so small in a bill can get some heated debate, which he witnessed when a bill was approved in the House to keep cities from being liable in sledding accidents.

“Something that seems so benign can become controversial,” he said.

Fisher is part of the House Republicans, which have the 53-47 majority.

“There’s definitely an advantage to being in the majority,” Fisher said.

Fisher has been working on his own bill, House File 88, which made it out of a subcommittee and next looks for talk in a committee. The bill would order a criminal to pay full restitution to not only a victim but the insurance company as well.

Fisher said 36 other states have this type of law in place where a judge can order the criminal to pay back insurance companies.

“It’s just a common sense thing,” Fisher said. “This just brings justice.”

He hopes to bring the bill through committee soon on its way to a floor vote, since the deadline to get through committee is March 8.

Amid the busyness of the work at the House, Fisher said it’s rewarding to learn about the state and being able to be a part of lawmaking.

“It’s kind of an arena of ideas,” he said. “You feel like you are doing something important. It’s invigorating.”