Capitol Update

January 13, 2024

The 2024 Legislative Session has Begun

We hadn't even gaveled in on the first day before I was pleasantly surprised to see friends from New Sharon already at the capitol for opening prayer and worship in the Rotunda. If you ever want to come visit the Capitol, take a tour of the building, or learn firsthand how the legislative process works, I encourage you to take a trip up here during the Session!

Visitors can sit in on the debates by watching from the galleries like those you see in the bottom photo who attended the Govenor's Condition of the State Address. As a matter of fact, visitors are welcome to watch legislators work from their desks at any time! The Capital is usually very lively during session with organizations filling the Rotunda with displays and rallies echoing down the hallways.

Carbon Pipeline Rally at the Capitol

Wow, what a first week of session it was! It is honestly hard to believe that we are only done with one week so far in 2024. It feels as though we are already in the thick of the session! There is a lot of energy in the State House so far and much excitement ahead of what is sure to be a busy (and hopefully successful) 2024 session in the Iowa legislature.

Republican Candidate for President, Vivek Ramaswamy and Ryan Binkley visited the Capitol on Wednesday to discuss the abuses of eminent domain and carbon pipelines impacting Iowa farmers and private citizens.

Condition of the State, Judiciary, and National Guard

This week was full of speeches and events including Governor Kim Reynolds' seventh annual Condition of the State Address. Reynolds highlighted many of the accomplishments that characterized the Iowa legislature in 2023, such as Future Ready Iowa and school choice, expanding the opportunities for students and families across the state including a shoutout to our education culture in Oskaloosa! She also presented her vision for 2024. Furthering education was again the focus. Here are the four main points of the Governor’s proposal to elevate education for every student:

1)   Raising teacher pay by increasing the existing statutory minimum salary, establishing a statutory minimum for experienced teachers, and creating the Merit Teacher Incentive Fund.

2)    Implementing a standard, evidence-based literacy training program for teachers statewide to support reading proficiency by the third grade.

3)    Supporting public charter schools in Iowa to provide more educational options for students and families.

4)    Reforming Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs) to focus on improving the delivery of special education services and support for children and students with disabilities.

In the condition of the judiciary on Wednesday morning, Chief Justice Susan Christensen gave the Condition of the Judiciary Address. Among the highlights of the Chief Justice’s speech, she mentioned the Juvenile Justice Task Force which has averted nearly 2,500 low-level juvenile offenders from formal processing.

Thursday closed out the week with the Condition of the National Guard Address given in the morning. Major General Stephen E. Osborn remarked upon the 384 Soldiers and 358 Airmen deployed on federal missions within the U.S. and across the world in the past year. But he also gave a vision for the future, which pictures the Iowa National Guard as “the most trusted organization in Iowa through our professionalism, character, investment in people, and transparency.” Praise the Lord for our state’s commitment to the security of our citizens!

To watch any of the Addresses, click on the corresponding links below:

Condition of the State

Condition of the Judiciary

Condition of the National Guard

Perry Community School...

Tragedy in the schools brought many of us to our knees this past week as the community of Perry continue to reel from the violence perpetrated throughout its hallways. Words cannot express the depth of sorrow for Iowans all across the state as they reach out to consol and support the families and students. Others have expressed frustration at such displays of evil as we wrestle with conversations on mental health, family and education. My fellow colleague in the House, Representative and long-time pastor, Brad Sherman, encouraged his community to not hastily seek out someone or something to blame while at the same time, acknowledging the source of all such destruction. It is fitting to share a portion of his words that I find myself in agreement with here:


"I firmly believe that much of the evil we see in our culture would be averted if we honored God by displaying and speaking His words. Surely no harm can come from posting words like,Thou shalt not killon the walls of our schools. But under a misguided interpretation of the First Amendment, and by misusing the phrase “separation of church and state,” we have expelled God from our schools and evicted Him from many of our public institutions. We must work to restore the original meaning of religious freedom as understood by those who penned a timeless principle that is reflected in Iowa’s Constitution:


“WE THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF IOWA, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on Him for a continuation of those blessings…” 

"May we turn to God in this time of need and express our dependence upon Him."


    - Representative Brad Sherman

New Bill Proposals

House Republicans hit the ground running by submitting many bill proposals this week! There are a couple of bills on important issues regarding our youth that I will be working hard to put forth and get passed this session, starting this week. Both have to do with our youth.

The first bill is on chaplains in schools. It is based on a bill that was enacted in Texas this past year. The chaplain bill would provide the opportunity for public schools, charter schools, etc. to employ or accept as a volunteer a chaplain to provide support, services and programs to students and staff as approved by the school board and superintendent.  Many of our children’s mental health struggles extend into the spiritual, and the help that can be provided by chaplains, similar to role that military chaplains serve, could further bridge the gap between trauma and healing.

The second bill is on age verification for minors as it pertains to electronics. This proposal is another that we have seen work well in other states, such as Louisiana, Arkansas, Montana, Mississippi, Utah, Virginia, and Texas. Addressing the harm done to children through pornography in the state of Iowa is long overdue; our youth are suffering. Concerning children, a 2015 study found that, “9% have viewed pornography by age eight, 24 percent by age ten, and 77 percent by age 13.”1

Furthermore, “A study of adolescents revealed that viewing sexually explicit internet materials can significantly increase their uncertainties about sexuality, can lower their self-esteem, and bring about feelings of loneliness and depression."2 This bill would require provides to use age verification for minor's who attempt to access porn online. The bill will also require that porn filters be turn to the "on" position for all devices sold to minors with parental monitoring capabilities.

  1. Pornography: A Public Health Crisis, National Center on Sexual Exploitation, July 14, 2015).
  2. Source: Dolf Zillman and Jennings Bryant, "Pornography's Impact on Sexual Satisfaction," Journal of Applied Social Psychology 18 (1988): 448.)

Meet my New Clerk!

Hey y’all! My name is Jared Poortinga, and I am Representative Hayes’ clerk for the 2024 Iowa Legislative session. I was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, on the southside (Go Railsplitters!) and am a Drake University alumnus! Since middle school, I had a strong desire to practice Constitutional Law, which fueled my decision to attend Drake.

When I was a sophomore in college, the Lord called me to Him and regenerated my heart. He gave me a strong desire to make His name known and use my life to make disciples who would love and worship Him for a lifetime! After graduating from Drake in May of 2023, I went on staff with the same ministry I was part of as a student at Drake. Now, I work part-time in college ministry with Campus Fellowship, an arm of Walnut Creek Church here in Des Moines, with my primary focus being reaching the students of DMACC with the gospel of Jesus Christ!

God has not removed the fire within me for meaningful governmental action, however, which is why I decided to clerk this session for Representative Hayes! As Helena’s clerk this session, I will be responsible for many of the administrative, behind-the-scenes tasks that go into a successful legislative session. One of those is making sure that you, the citizen, remain as informed as possible regarding everything going on at the Capitol.

We will also do everything we can to keep more people engaged in the legislative process and how they can influence change (you have more power than you may think!). Some specifics of my role include drafting the weekly newsletter, managing emails and phone communication, social media, website, and some other miscellaneous tasks as well. I cannot wait to get into the meat of the session and fight alongside Helena for freedom, prosperity, and the good of Iowans!

Go Caucus!

The 2024 election season is underway with the Republican caucus to be held at 7:00 pm this Monday, January 15th, here in Iowa! You can find your caucus location through this link. Just enter your address information and you are set to caucus!

Speaking of caucus, this week has been full of fascinating endorsement announcements and notable media personalities visiting Iowa! Even the unfolding events leading up to the election surprise those of us closest to the action. This photo was captured as I was blessed to be with this amazing group of legislators during one of those revealing's.

How to support me

What do people like me need for support as elected officials in a state office?

* Prayer (the key!)

* Your input - either for or against the issues

* Volunteers

* Yards for signage (both yard sign and barn signs/4x8)

* "Word-of-mouth" support by expressing your approval to others

* and of course, financial donations:

Hayes for House, Treasurer

2812 170th Street

New Sharon, Iowa 50207

Thank you all!!

Upcoming Events

Here are the dates for upcoming forums I will be at! I welcome all whom I proudly represent to join me for these meetings. I want to hear what you have to say!

Coffee & Conversation (Formerly Eggs & Issues)

To be held at Smokey Row Oskaloosa (109 S Market St. Oskaloosa, IA) on the following dates:

  • January 27th @ 8:30 to 9:30 am
  • February 24th @ 8:30 to 9:30 am
  • March 23rd @ 8:30 to 9:30 am

Fairfield Chamber of Commerce Forum

To be held at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center (200 N. Main Street. Fairfield, IA) on the following dates:

  • February 17th @ 7:30 am
  • April 20th @ 7:30 am

If you have any questions about these events, don't hesitate to reach out to me. All forums and events will be posted on my Facebook page as well as here in the newsletter!

Prayer Requests

Fighting for righteousness at the Capitol is hard work and I cannot do it alone. I need the Lord’s help and the help of all of you. I would love all the prayers I can get, and our state needs your prayers as well. Outside of general things, such as strength and wisdom, here are three more specific things you could be praying for in the upcoming week:

·        Please pray for endurance and diligence as the rush to push initial legislation through is on.

·        Please pray for strength to fight in the spiritual battles that occur here at the Capitol.

·        Please pray that this session, God would work mightily and legislation would be passed that protects our youth from the ever-encroaching kingdom of darkness.


As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. I love to hear from you and want to represent you accurately! 



Phone: 515.281.3221

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