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Last updated 10:23PM ET
September 25, 2018
Emphasis - January 7
(wium) - Jason Parrott's guests are State Rep. Dave Heaton (R-Mt. Pleasant) and State Sen. Tom Courtney (D-Burlington). They talk about the 2011 legislative session in Iowa, which gets underway on Monday, January 10.

This session in Des Moines is expected to have a different feel, compared to recent sessions.

Democrats have controlled state government for several years, holding the Governor's Office and majorities in the Iowa House of Representatives and the Iowa Senate.

The November election changed that.

Republican Terry Branstad defeated Democratic Governor Chet Culver. Republicans also took control of the House and narrowed the gap in the Senate.

Heaton and Courtney says job creation and the budget will be the focus of the session.

Courtney says the cuts will be difficult, but a $1-billion surplus will help in that effort. Heaton says the state is facing a deficit, which will require severe budget cuts, spending reductions, and a reduction in the scope of state government.

Heaton says Iowa must also become a business-friendly state. Both men believe a discussion on reducing commercial property taxes is likely, though a solution could be difficult to achieve.

Heaton and Courtney also expect an amendment to the Iowa Constitution prohibiting same-sex marriage to gain momentum this year. They also expect lawmakers to address a Nebraska doctor's plan to operate a late-term abortion clinic in western Iowa.

Other issues expected to come up this year include Right-To-Work laws and gun rights.

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