Lawmakers gather in Des Moines as the legislative session begins

The 2012 Iowa General Assembly gathered Monday in Des Moines for the first time in 2012.

It was just seven months ago when the last legislative session ended; going two months over the scheduled session. That session was full of partisan politics, something both parties agree they don't want to see in 2012.

Fairfield Representative Curt Hanson is excited to be back at the Iowa State Capitol. One of his goals this session is to make sure that Iowa's rural students get the same educational opportunities as students around Iowa's metros.

"I don't wish to end up with a two tiered education system where rural Iowans are short changed and metro Iowans have an advantage because of transportation costs that are much lower in the metropolitan areas and so forth," said Hanson.

Representative Mary Gaskill of Ottumwa told KTVO she is concerned about the commercial property tax debate. Gaskill supported the senate version last year. She is hoping that this year, both parties can work out some sort of deal.

"If they can come to some type of compromise, if we can, between the house and senate version, so that we can help the commercial property tax payers in Wapello County, I am certainly going to look at that seriously and hope that I can support that," said Gaskill.

The three big agenda items this session are jobs, education reform and commercial property tax reform. Both the leaders in the house and senate say they do not want to focus on social issues, such as same-sex marriage.

Contact Representative Curt Hanson at

Contact Representative Mary Gaskill at