Friday, January 23, 2009

Veterans Day at the Capitol

It was Veterans Day at the Capitol yesterday and the building was filled with veterans of all ages from around the state. It was great to see them all and let them know how much we appreciate their service and sacrifice.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


SF 25, was introduced this week. The bill will allow the Iowa Natural Resource Commission to establish an open season for hunting mourning doves. If you support this bill contact Mike Gronstal at, and ask him to get the bill flying out of the Senate!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Transparency Comes to Iowa

Today Senator Kim Reynolds (R-Osceola) and Senator Shawn Hamerlinck (R-Davenport) announced their support of improving government transparency through the implementation of a new website that would shed light on how taxpayer dollars are spent in Iowa.

Senators Hamerlinck and Reynolds, along with some of their House counterparts, are sponsoring the Iowa Transparency bill. It would require the Iowa Department of Management to develop and operate a website where citizens could see how their tax dollars are being spent. The bill would also require the DOM to work with the Department of Revenue to develop and operate a searchable database and map of all the tax rates in the state for each jurisdiction. The database would also have a tax rate calculator able to compute potential and future taxes.

On average Iowans pay more than $4,700 per person in taxes a year and creating a user-friendly site where they can know where their hard-earned dollars are going is a step in the right direction of creating a more open and honest government. This is on the heels of yesterday’s inauguration of President Obama. As a U.S. Senator, Obama pushed hard for a more transparent government. (Great tie-in right?)

This bill is a great way to hold government accountable. We entrust the government with our tax dollars and the public should know exactly how it is spent. It is a truly bipartisan move. Regardless of party, people want to know where their taxes are going.

The implementation of an Iowa Transparency web site would probably cost less than $40,000. (Missouri implemented theirs for $35,000). The software is available from the federal government and already implemented in several states, including Missouri, and we’re hearing that it is a success there. A little bit of money for a whole lot of accountability and transparency.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Former Senator Dies

This weekend, former state legislator Mary Lundby lost her battle with cervical cancer. The Republican legislator had a huge impact on state politics during her time at the Capitol. She served in the House of Representatives as well as the Senate. Not everyone agreed with her political views but everyone respected her and she will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lundby family.
Obituary for Mary Lundby
Mary Adelaide Lundby, 60, of 1240 14th St., Marion, ended her battle with cancer on Saturday, January 17, 2009, at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids.
The funeral will be on Wednesday, January 21, 2009, at 1:00 p.m., at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Marion, by Father John Gossman. Her ashes will be spread over her beloved land in Belle Plaine at a later date. Arrangements by Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Center in Marion.
Survivors include husband, Michael Lundby of Marion; her son, Daniel Lundby of New York City; her mother, Elizabeth Hoehl; her sisters, Margaret Hoehl, Susan Hoehl, and Paula Jensen; her brother, David Hoehl; her mother-on-law, Mildred Lundby; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her father, Edward Hoehl and her father-in-law, Lorence Lundby.
Mary was born February 2, 1948, in Carroll, Iowa. She graduated from Carroll Kuemper Catholic High School in 1966 and Upper Iowa University in 1971. On December 27, 1971, Mary married Michael Lundby at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Carroll, Iowa. They made their home in Marion, where they raised their son, Daniel.
Mary was a wife, mother, and a legislator. Mary was elected to the State Legislature in 1986. She was an advocate for issues concerning children, families, the environment and conservation. She loved being a legislator and was happy to have been given the privilege of serving the people of Marion, Linn County, and the State of Iowa.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to: the Iowa National Heritage Foundation, 505 Fifth Ave., Suite 444, Des Moines, IA 50309-2321 or the Madge Phillips Foundation, Waypoint, 318 Fifth Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401.