Pat Grassley: State should be mindful of spending

Even with a sizable state budget surplus, Rep. Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, said state leaders should still be mindful of spending.

He said a slowing agricultural economy and the cost of reform measures such as education and property tax reform have to be taken into account.

“We have to make sure we are spending responsibly,” Grassley said. “It might be putting a little bit of a pinch on the budget.”

Grassley represents House District 50 which includes all of Grundy County, northern Hardin County and southern Butler County.

Grassley also said increased Medicaid payments have to be considered by the state when fiscally planning for the future.

“There’s going to be things that are going to be on our plate for several years to come,” Grassley said.

There’s talk the 2014 state legislative session, which begins Monday, could be quicker in the past as many elected officials will want to campaign during an election year. The grandson of U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said Iowans also want their legislators to be efficient.

“I think Iowans expect us to go there and get our work done,” Grassley said.

Grassley said another reason the session might go quicker is due to the work that was put in during the 2013 session – which included education and property tax reform.

“We were able to accomplish a lot of things last year,” Grassley said.

The closing of the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo has been a big statewide issue and Grassley said he’ll lean on Rep. Dean Fisher, R-Garwin, for information on that moving forward.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s something that will be discussed during the session,” Grassley said.

With seemingly a new statewide elected position opening regularly, either in the U.S. Senate or House, Grassley, 30, said he often gets asked if he has aspirations to run. He said with a young family he does not expect to any run for one of these seats in the near future.