Iowa City Noon Rotary Club
We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
University Athletic Club
1360 Melrose AveIowa City, IA 52246United States
Pres. Nancy introduced State Senator Bob Dvorsky and State Representative Kraig Paulsen.
Senator Dvorsky is serving his sixth term in the Iowa Senate. He represents Cedar County and northeast Johnson County. He previously served seven years as a State Representative in the Iowa House. He is chair of the Appropriations Committee and also serves on the Education Judiciary, Local Government, Rules & Transportation committees. In 2007 he was awarded the Arthur Neu Award for Exceptional Policy Development. He spearheaded funding initiatives for the Special Needs Unit at Oakdale and the first CBC Mental Health Rehabilitation Facility in Cedar Rapids. His efforts have made Iowa a stronger and safer place to work and live. Sen. Dvorsky is a member of the American Parole and Probation Association, Iowa Corrections Association, Johnson County Historical Society and Friends of the Coralville Public Library. He served on the Coralville City Council for seven years and currently serves on the board for the Community Corrections Improvement Association. He is also board president for the Housing Trust Fund of Johnson County. Sen. Dvorsky was born in Burlington, graduated from Iowa City’s University High. He earned his B.S. and master of Public Administration degrees from the University of Iowa. His wife, Sue, is a public school teacher and former chair of the Iowa Democratic Party. They have two daughters and are parishioners of St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Iowa City.
Speaker Kraig Paulsen was first elected to the Iowa House in 2002 and serves House Dist. 35, Northern and Western Linn County. He previously served as the House Judiciary Chair, the House Minority Whip for two years and as the House Republican Leader. He served in the United States Air Force as an Operations Group Senior Weapons Instructor, Maintenance Flight Commander and Squadron Director of Operations. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the USAF Commendation Medal and the USAF Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster. He was twice recognized as the Best Operations Crew in the USAF in his assigned weapon system, USAF Space Command Maintenance Junior Officer Manager of the Year, the Minot Air Force Base Junior Officer of the Quarter, and the Missile Wing Instructor of the Year. Rep. Paulsen was born in Monticello, Iowa. He graduated from ISU in 1987 and received his MBA in 1994 from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a J.D. from UI. He is currently an attorney for CRST International, Inc. in Cedar Rapids. He and his wife, Cathy have four children and are members of New Covenant Bible Church in CR.
Paulsen began by noting that his father is a Rotarian. He commented that this past legislative session passed a budget without setting up for a long term deficit while taking in account bonds to be paid off and a dedicated funding stream. Within this budget, the Legislators were able to recognize the UI Entrepreurial Center. With resprect to Iowa’s economy, it is dependent on agriculture for ongoing dollars. In the past carry-over dollars were rolled into the general fund. Now lawmakers are talking about ongoing revenue and dealing with dollars differently. In general he called this past session “fantastic” as it boasted the largest tax cut in history! He commented about the Senate, House and the Governor being serious about the property tax issue. He also noted the attention given to education reform, especially K-12 to better prepare young Iowans. He recognized the work of the General Assembly on Medicaid; the Iowa solution he believes could be a standard across the nation with emphasis on wellness as a responsibility. He closed by summarizing that the reason for success was due to leadership and the caucuses, Lawmakers “wanted to get things done!” He thought this was in response to the strong message Iowans sent in the election!
Dvorsky began by echoing the “success” of this past legislative session. Specifically, the largest tax cut in Iowa history, the development of the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan and finally, down to the end, passing the budget. Additionally the decision to freeze tuition by the Iowa Board of Regents! He closed by noting there are more dollars for high schools, students seeking GEDs, community colleges and selected projects for UI, UNI and ISU. Additional projects include attention to Elder Abuse, Domestic violence and an Iowa Nutrient Center involving all three universities. More funds to be allocated for food banks and recreation areas in the state.
Paulsen and Dvorsky responded to questions from the audience. Thanks to Pres. Nancy and Tom Cilek for a timely and informative program. A book for the Rotary School library in Xicotepec, Mexico will be donated in recognition of this program.
The meeting closed with recitation of the 4 Way Test.