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      Despite slow start, 2013 legislative session a success

      When the Iowa House of Representatives first began business in January, State Representative Mary Gaskill said she was nervous -- fearing that a lack of compromise between the two parties would result in many critical measures failing to pass.

      However, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle came together in the last week of the session to approve property tax reform, mental health expansion and education reform -- three issues Gaskill said were of vital importance for Iowans.

      Gaskill said she is proud of the steps taken at the Capitol to help Iowa's middle class and now she is looking ahead to next year.

      "There's still issues with poverty in Iowa and making sure that people have food," Gaskill said. "Even though we got some money for the food banks this year, $1 million, so I'm really pleased about that, hope the governor doesn't veto it because it's really needed. So I want to work on poverty issues and those kinds of things next year."

      The Iowa legislature will come together again in January 2014.