With eight years of service as the representative for Iowa House District 78, Jarad Klein, R, hopes to continue the work that he has begun and is running for re-election to the office in the Nov. 6 general election.
When thinking of accomplishments he has made since taking office, he feels one of his best contributions was changes in the Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) law changes he helped facilitate last year. The changes in the law allow people with OWI conditions to continue to drive as long as they have a portable breathalyzer ignition interlock. He commented that both law enforcement and trial lawyers were behind the law. He was also named Iowa Legislator of the Year by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
“Since it wasn’t a partisan battle, it wasn’t getting a lot of play,” Klein said of the legislation. In the Iowa House and Senate, 90 percent of bills that are approved, are done so in a non-partisan way, Klein said. He added that because there is no controversy surrounding the bills, they are normally not reported on. He also commented that many people think work in the Legislature is a big partisan battle every day because of media portrayals of government. “We have a lot more in common that we do differences,” he commented. “It’s just the differences play out because people want to see that.”
A third-generation farmer from the Keota area, Klein first entered the Legislature thinking he would focus on agricultural issues. Instead, he said much of his work comes out of public safety. While serving, Klein sits on the public safety committee, the local government committee and is the vice chair of the labor committee. He discussed the passage of the Narcan bill that assists people with opiod addictions, as well as work to get cannabis (CDBG) oil to treat people with certain illnesses.
In the coming term, Klein expects to continue his work to increase access to CDBG oil to treat medical conditions. Every year, he stated, education funding is an issue. He also said that every year the Legislature has improved increasing education spending, although not to the extend that education lobbyists have wanted.
Not all government work deals with passage of legislation. Klein said he has also worked to block legislation that would have had a detrimental impact on his constituents.
Klein feels he has the experience and the knowledge necessary to be the most effective for Dist. 78 constituents. He believes he has the record of doing as he says he will. He said he would be humbled to have his constituents’ continued support.
“It’s about making the right decision and not necessisarily the politically expedient decision,” he said. “That is how I have always tried to operate as a legislator. There is political and there is the right thing to do. I have always tried to do the right thing.”