SHEFFIELD, Iowa - January 14, 2022 - The second session of the 89th Iowa General Assembly convened January 10, 2022, in regular session.
The first week of every session is filled with ceremony, and I feel honored to literally have a front row seat. Governor Kim Reynolds' annual Condition of the State address was broadcast live on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday morning, Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen delivered the State of the Judiciary. The Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard Major General Benjamin Corell delivered the Condition of the Guard on Thursday morning.
The statistics shared by all three of these leaders prove Iowa is moving forward. You can watch recordings from all these presentations on Iowa Public Broadcasting Service's (PBS) YouTube channel.
Iowa's economy and state budget remain strong. In her annual budget proposal, Gov. Reynolds offers ideas for cutting taxes and workforce incentives. Next week, Budget Subcommittees will begin examining details of the governor's budget proposal.
Tax relief and workforce shortage are two issues that residents of House District 54 contact me about the most.
Iowa's Taxpayer Relief Fund has reached more than $1 billion. Iowa House Republicans are committed to returning this money in a responsible, sustainable way while still funding Iowans' priorities.
Gov. Reynolds has proposed a 4% flat tax on all Iowans. Iowa House Republicans are ready to vet the Governor's bill.
Iowa's economy has 64,000 unemployed Iowans and 110,000 unfilled jobs. We must focus on filling the jobs we have open.
Increasing access to quality, affordable child care is key to addressing Iowa's workforce shortage.
I'm looking forward to working on both of these issues - and more - during this legislative session. As always, please contact me about issues that are of interest to you.
SHEFFIELD, Iowa - January 6, 2022 - Shannon Latham, a Republican from Sheffield, announces she will run for re-election to the new Iowa House District 55. Latham was elected in 2020 to Iowa House District 54 after Speaker Linda Upmeyer did not seek re-election.
"It is truly an honor to serve in the Iowa House. This privilege isn't lost on me each time I walk through the doors of our beautiful state capitol building," says Latham, whose interest in public service was sparked when she was a 4-H member and attended Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF).
Latham graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in Public Service & Administration in Agriculture and Agricultural Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations. She also earned her MBA from the University of Iowa.
"I have enjoyed getting to know people across my district, so I could represent their needs and interests in the Iowa House," says Latham. "Redistricting means I'll have an opportunity to meet even more people in Franklin, Hamilton, northwest Story and southeast Wright Counties."
Rep. Latham was appointed vice chair of the Appropriations Committee in her first term. She also serves on the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Information Technology Committees, as well as the Economic Development Budget Subcommittee. She was a strong public supporter during the 2021 session of H.F. 857, commonly called the Butchery Innovation Bill, which provides grants to businesses for projects relating to small-scale meat processing and licensed custom lockers. She also advocated for childcare, and the Iowa House passed 10 related bills. Other milestone legislation passed in 2021 includes expanding broadband across Iowa; providing income tax cuts for every Iowan plus eliminating the death tax; and providing law enforcement with more tools to keep communities safe.
Latham and her husband, John, moved home to Franklin County in 2003 so they could raise their children, Ian and Elizabeth (Elle), near family and pursue the American dream. Shannon started her own public relations consulting business, and John founded Latham Hi-Tech Hybrids. Shannon soon joined him as co-owner of the family's seed business.
"It felt risky to start my own business, but it paled in comparison to what I felt when John and I went into business together. There was no second income to fall back on, plus we were responsible for making payroll for our employees. It's a responsibility we take seriously because people rely on these jobs to put food on the table and to pay their bills," says Latham, who also has owned and operated Enchanted Acres pumpkin patch since 2012 in Sheffield. "I commend entrepreneurs and small business owners for trading their paid time off and known salaries to follow their dreams. We need small businesses because they're the backbone of our communities."
To remain strong, Latham believes communities need strong educational systems and economic development efforts. She also believes an emphasis on trade schools and individualized learning programs that prepare graduates for careers are a win-win for students and business owners. Latham is committed to empowering job creators to bring employment opportunities to Iowa. To learn more about Rep. Shannon Latham, visit LathamforIowa.com.