The 87th Iowa General Assembly convenes on Monday. Most of the first week is taken up by the usual ceremonies and organizational meetings of committees. During the first day, legislative leaders address the chambers to talk about their plans for the session. Also coming up this week is Governor Branstad’s presumably final “Condition of the State” speech to the legislature and Chief Justice Cady’s “State of the Judiciary” address.

It’s a new situation at the State Capitol because last fall’s elections resulted in Republicans having control of both chambers and the governor’s office for the first time since the late 1990’s. Republicans gained control of the Iowa Senate, 29-20 with one independent. The Republicans in the House gained two seats giving them a 59-41 majority.

Every session presents some new opportunities and challenges for the Iowa Catholic Conference’s legislative agenda. You can find our entire list of legislative concerns here. You can also check out our toolbox for advocacy at the Legislature at iowacatholicconference.org/action-center/lobbying-resources. We look forward to working with you to protect human life and dignity in Iowa.

A great way for you to stay in touch with our action alerts (in addition to this newsletter) is to download the “Voter Voice” app on your iPhone or Android device. Once you enter your email you can search for “Iowa Catholic Conference” and add us to the app. That way you can respond to our alerts directly from your phone.

MASS FOR LIFE/INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL ACTION

There’s still time to participate in the annual Mass for Life and register for the Iowa Institute for Social Action. The four bishops of Iowa will celebrate the Mass at Saints John and Paul Church in Altoona, IA this coming Sunday, Jan. 15 at 5 p.m. Bishop Martin Amos of Davenport will be the homilist.

The Institute for Social Action, our annual advocacy event, will be held at the parish on Jan. 15 and 16. For more information or to register go to iowasocialaction2017.eventbrite.com.