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      2014 Iowa General Assembly expected to be short, yet efficient session

      The gavel dropped at 10 a.m. in both chambers of the Statehouse for the start of the 2014 legislative session. The 85th General Assembly has a top priority of keeping the budget in check.

      â??Iâ??m sure there will be some issues with the mental health reform, and Iâ??m sure there will be many, many others that constituents want us to develop and work on this term,â?? State Rep. Curt Hanson, (D)-82.The democratic representative is passionate about more, yet cost-effective student transportation.â??I think many other states buy their busses at a mass bidding whereas Iowa individually bids from the school districts, but if you bid from many, many busses at a time you can get a better price than if you just bid for four or five busses in a district, or in our area one or two, so I think that could impact the price of bidding on busses and could help local schools,â?? Hanson said.

      Republican State Rep. Larry Sheets of Moulton has goals to reduce the state income tax and bring more business to Southeast Iowa. Tenco Industries sits very close to the heart of Democratic State Rep. Mary Gaskill (D)-81.

      Much of the attention inside the State Capital focused on moving forward and building upon the foundation set in 2013. Iowa legislators from both sides of the political spectrum promise a short and efficient session.

      â??One of the goals is to look and see how things are doing with the bills that we passed last session and see if thereâ??s any tweaking it needs, so it can better serve the people,â?? Gaskill said.

      â??In the end, letâ??s hope we can come together and advance Iowaâ??s needs in a bipartisan manner,â?? Hanson said.

      With there being ten less days in the session, and it being an election year, Gov. Terry Branstad and the legislature have set modest goals focused more on budget and less on policy.