Hite Capitol Update: April 18, 2019

Rep. Dustin Hite (R-District 79)

Rep. Dustin Hite (R-District 79)

by Rep. Dustin Hite

We passed more budget bills through the House this week, and we are on track to wrap up session shortly. Before we are done, I wanted to turn my newsletter over to my clerk, John Hirl, and let him share with you what his experience has been like clerking for the past couple of years.

“My name is John Hirl and I am Representative Hite’s clerk for the 88th General Assembly. I graduated from Oskaloosa High School in 2017, and I am currently in my sophomore year at Drake University studying Political Science and Strategic Political Communication. After college, I would like to attend law school and become an attorney. This is my second year clerking in the State Legislature. Last year, I was the clerk for Guy Vander Linden, who also represented District 79. Over the past two years, I have learned a great deal about the State Legislature and I am thankful for the opportunities I have had.

Through friends at Drake, I learned about the role clerks play in the legislative process at the state level. I reached out to then-Representative Guy Vander Linden asking if he was in need of a clerk for the next year because I thought it would be especially special to work for the person representing my hometown. He was, and I started in early January of 2018. My first year clerking in the Statehouse was a sort of trial-by-fire. Representative Vander Linden was the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee and that meant I was the Committee Clerk. This increased my workload significantly, but I eventually got the hang of it with help from Vander Linden and others in the House. After Representative Vander Linden announced his retirement, I learned that Dustin Hite would be running in his place.

I got in touch with Representative Hite before he started his campaign last summer, and I was able to help him out with it. He won his race, and I began being his clerk when he was sworn in on January 14 of this year. This session has been different from the last, but I think I have been just as busy as I was last year. While Representative Hite is not the Chair of any committees, he is the Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee and a member of three others. This means most of my responsibilities center around subcommittee scheduling and preparing Rep. Hite for subcommittee and committee meetings. I also manage his calendar, keep track of his interactions with constituents, and do other tasks that pop up during the day. While these are the general tasks I perform, every day is different at the Capitol and I never know exactly what to expect. Representative Hite has had the opportunity to run some crucial bills this session, and this has made my experience especially engaging. My favorite part of the job is my ability to play a small role in the passing of bills that will help Iowans.

The experience I have gained clerking in the Statehouse has been invaluable. Not only have I gained a deeper understanding of the legislative process, but I have also been exposed to different political arguments and learned how to civilly disagree with others. Much of what I have learned has come from the exceptional men I have worked for. Representative Vander Linden was one of the most respected members of the Iowa House in his 8 years here, and it was an honor to learn from him how to efficiently draft and pass legislation. It was also cool to hear stories from his time flying President Reagan around when he was a Marine. Representative Hite has done a fantastic job in the short amount of time he has represented District 79. Though he is only a freshman Representative, he has already been given some important assignments and done a fantastic job getting them through the House. Representative Hite takes his job as Representative for District 79 seriously, and this makes it an honor to be his clerk.”

If you or anyone you know is interested in clerking at the Statehouse, please reach out to me for more information at dustin.hite@legis.iowa.gov. If you know a high-schooler who may be interested in serving in the page program, they can also contact me at this address. I would love to see more people from District 79 working here in the Statehouse.

Posted by on Apr 18 2019. Filed under Local News, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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