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Final legislative forum of year Saturday

Rich Taylor
Rich Taylor
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The Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce will host its final legislative forum of 2019 Saturday.

The forum is from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. Please note that this is different from where the forum is normally held, at Best Western Fairfield Inn.

Chamber director Darien Sloat will moderate Saturday’s forum. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided free of charge.

The forums are an opportunity for residents to ask questions of their representatives and senators in the Iowa Legislature. Topics discussed during the February and March forums included: the legislature’s approving a 2.3 percent increase in school funding; a plan to give legislative leaders more power in selecting judges; a plan to charge solar customers for using the electric grid; the Legislature’s passage of a bill to prosecute people who seek to cause “economic harm” to the ag industry by gaining employment on a farm under false pretenses; and a bill to reduce polling hours and bar college students from voting if they planned to leave the state after graduating.

The chamber sought to host four legislative forums this year, one in each month from January through April, but the January forum was canceled due to inclement weather.

The panel of four legislators includes three members who are new this year: Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of District 41, who defeated Democrat Mary Stewart; Rep. Jeff Shipley of District 82, who defeated incumbent Democrat Phil Miller; and Rep. Joe Mitchell of District 84, who defeated Democrat Jason Moats.

Miller-Meeks is filling the seat previously held by Republican Mark Chelgren, and Mitchell is filling the seat held by Republican Dave Heaton. Neither Chelgren nor Heaton chose to seek re-election.

The lone Democrat on the four-person panel is Sen. Rich Taylor of District 42, who was not up for re-election in 2018.

The four legislators will provide an update on the bills they’ve been working and on the status of negotiations between the two legislative bodies.

Senate District 41 (Miller-Meeks): All of Davis and Van Buren counties, plus the eastern part of Wapello County including Ottumwa, and the western two-thirds of Jefferson County including Fairfield.

Senate District 42 (Taylor): All of Henry and Lee counties, plus the eastern third of Jefferson County and southern portion of Washington County.

House District 82 (Shipley): All of Davis and Van Buren counties, plus the western two-thirds of Jefferson County including Fairfield.

House District 84 (Mitchell): All of Henry County, plus the northern half of Lee County, eastern third of Jefferson County and southern portion of Washington County.

For more information, contact the chamber at 641-472-2111 or email Events@FairfieldIowa.com.