Legislators to host listening session


State Rep. Ross Wilburn, hours before being officially elected to the Iowa House of Representatives, speaks at the Shine a Light for Democracy Vigil on Aug. 6 at City Hall. The event took place on the 54th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act’s passage and was meant to highlight the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder’s elimination of the act’s pre-clearance provision. Wilburn pointed out that without the Voting Rights Act, he would be unable to vote.

Jake Webster

Ames-area legislators will host a “listening post” to hear constituents’ concerns for the 2020 Iowa legislative session.

Sen. Herman Quirmbach, Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell and Rep. Ross Wilburn will host the event at noon on Friday in the Ames Public Library.

“Important issues [for the session] will include education, workforce development, the environment, access to health care and child care, the budget, and medical marijuana, among many other possible topics,” according to a press release.

In Gov. Kim Reynolds’ Condition of the State speech Tuesday, she highlighted priorities for her administration in this legislative session. Those priorities include increasing health care access, increasing access to mental heath care and a sales tax increase to offset other tax cuts.

The three legislators’ districts cover the city of Ames and other municipalities in Story County.

“Our job is to represent the people of our districts,” Quirmbach said in a press release. “We are reaching out to everyone and asking you to share your hopes and priorities for this year’s legislative session.”

Listening to constituents is “the most important thing I do,” Wessel-Kroeschell said in a press release.

Wilburn is beginning his first legislative session this year. He was elected in a special election in August 2019, to fill the seat vacated by now-Story County Supervisor Lisa Heddens.

“Citizen input was very helpful as I went door to door last fall, so sharing your experiences with us will continue to be valuable as this year’s legislative session begins,” Wilburn said in a release.

The legislative session began Monday and is scheduled to run for 100 calendar days until April 21. All three legislators hosting the listening session, along with all Iowa state legislators, are up for re-election in the Nov. 3, 2020 general election.