Dreams Come True


"Truth is soul or spirit. It is, therefore, known as soul force. It excludes the use of violence because man is not capable of knowing the absolute truth and therefore not competent"
-M. K. Gandhi 'Satyagraha'


The 88th General Assembly for the State of Iowa has adjourned.


Reflecting on my first years in the Iowa House brings great joy and satisfaction.


Life feels magical when expressing your most authentic, truthful feelings.

Freedom is the secret for souls to soar.


That's the recipe for dreams come true.


Or at least my dreams coming true.


Less than two years ago, I set out to present a vision of genuine health and healing.


I asked myself, "how can I strive to be a source of healing in this broken world?"


What's the smallest change the Iowa Legislature could make that has the largest potential for revolutionary change?


I studied up and discovered our criminal code is drastically out of harmony with nature.


I offered an amendment to the budget bill to decriminalize naturally occurring healing tools.


I set for my vision of true healing in my remarks on the floor of the Iowa House.


Please take a few moments to watch the video and let me know your thoughts.


Happy to report that I've never felt more loved or supported by my colleagues... and they supported me quite a bit before.



I can now die a happy man, knowing that my voice (extremely satisfying to the ego) at least etched a positive vision of alignment with nature in the annals of the Iowa House journal.


And we took a vote, placing our names against the judgment of history.


It's been nothing short of exhilarating to be a world-leader on this topic. Now that Iowa is first in the nation on having this discussion, I can't wait to see what state next follows our lead.


In the coming days, I will be working to break down an analysis of my complete record as your State Representative.

Not only the incredible forward thinking legislation I've authored..

But also a thorough discussion of any and all controversial or provocative statements for those who are interested.


I can safely say I've p*ssed off every special interest group in the state (except the conservative Christians).


I don't wish to antagonize anyone on purpose or anyone more than I have to. But in the realm of politics, when corporations and activist groups are encroaching on our individual liberty, there are times when confrontation and firm action is appropriate.


Back before I was a self-actualized man, my dharma (duty) as a comedian was to get up in front of people and tell the truth.


The truth had a way of releasing tension and creating beautiful results. Like truth has a consciousness all its own, and it wanted to be told.


The truth is freedom is beauty.


For those that have less than truthful aspects within them, the truth can feel threatening, scary, and uncomfortable.


Let us all set our collective intentions and ask for God's help to untangle the knotted traumas, false truths, half truths, omissions and distortions of humanity. 


It's really not so difficult once the light of awareness gets to work...


Much love and appreciation for each and everyone of you.


Dream's don't come true without the faith and support of many, many people, over many long years.


Peace be with you,


Rep. Jeff Shipley




Upsetting special interest groups comes at a price. My voice for genuine healing from the inside out will only be as strong as your support.

Your generosity will go a long way!

More Capitol News from Rep. Holt

House Judiciary Committee Chairman


Great Legislation Passed:

  • Balanced Budgets – Thanks to sound budgeting principles and fiscally responsible budgets demanded by House Republicans for the last decade, Iowa stands strong in its ability to weather the economic storm ahead. We passed a status quo budget, with cuts in a few areas. Our reserve and emergency funds of almost $800 million remain full. This is in stark comparison to those states that do not spend wisely and are now crying out to the federal government for assistance.
  • Occupational Licensing Reform (HF2470) – Iowa has an onerous licensing system that deters economic growth, particularly when it comes to reciprocity with other states. It also denies licenses for those with a criminal conviction in need of a second chance. This legislation mandates more reciprocity with other states and allows individuals to petition a licensing board to have a determination if their criminal conviction would disqualify them from receiving a license.
  • School Telehealth (SF2261) – This bill allows Area Education Agencies (AEAs) to contract with a mental health professional to provide behavioral health screening to students, in person or through telehealth, in a school setting, but only with the parent’s permission.
  • Empower Rural Iowa (SF2400 & HF2459) – This legislation improves upon what was passed last year to help bring high speed internet to all parts of Iowa.
  • Justice Reform (HF2647) – This legislation gives law enforcement more tools to maintain high professional standards. It creates a process to ensure that those officers convicted of wrongdoing in other states cannot come to Iowa and be hired as a police officer; clarifies that the Iowa Attorney General can investigate cases involving law enforcement and the death of a citizen; mandates additional training related to recognition of bias; and prohibits the use of a chokehold except in life threatening situations, codifying in law what is already standard practice for most law enforcement agencies. I appreciate the conversations I had with law enforcement officials in my district regarding this legislation.
  • Criminal Surcharge Reform (SF457) – Senator Dan Dawson and I have worked on this legislation for two years, and it will make Iowa’s criminal fees and fines structure far better than it currently is. These reforms are the largest overhaul of the fees and fines system in the history of Iowa. It lowers the Criminal Services Surcharge from 35% to 15% by moving these costs to the actual fines; creates an Agricultural Theft surcharge of $500 that is given to food banks in Iowa; provides an extra $2 million per year to the Court Technology Fund; eliminates the adoption filing fee; allows judges to establish a payment plan for fines over $100 as opposed to $300; streamlines filing fees for divorce cases; provides $1.1 million for Emergency Medical Services; gives an additional $2 million to the Crime Lab to help reduce the sexual assault kit backlog; eliminates the onerous $200 civil penalty for driver’s license reinstatements; and eliminates the need for over 1,600 Magistrate Court appearances a year. A collaborative effort between Republicans and Democrats, this legislation is a win for smaller, smarter government.
  • Jail Medical Costs (HF2547) – This legislation was requested a year ago by Crawford County Sheriff James Steinkuehler to address the problem with county jails (taxpayers) being the first resort for payment of the medical costs of prisoners. This created a situation in which individuals were getting arrested on purpose so they could have a medical procedure at taxpayer expense. After working with hospitals and law enforcement, a solution was crafted that identifies a procedure for payment of medical costs that does not begin with county taxpayers.
  • 2nd Amendment Protections (HF2502) – This legislation strengthens preemption, mandating that cities and counties cannot creates laws or ordinances stricter than state law. Without preemption, it would be impossible for law-abiding citizens to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. This legislation also establishes protections for gun ranges.
  • Tracking Wounded Deer with a Dog (HF2455) – This legislation allows hunters to track wounded deer with a dog, a humane practice allowed in many states that reduces the suffering of the animal. Thanks Cody Friedrichsen, for years of hard work to get this done.
  • Coronavirus Liability Protections (SF2338) – Our small businesses have been profoundly damaged by government mandates in reaction to the Coronavirus. One of the most consequential bills we did this session was in passing this legislation, which helps protect our small businesses acting in good faith from frivolous Coronavirus lawsuits that could put them out of business. Thanks to my dear friend Representative Gary Carlson for his hard work in getting this done.
  • Alfie’s Law & 24-Hour Waiting Period (HF594) - This profoundly important legislation mandates that parents, not government or hospitals, must make the decision on the removal of a life sustaining procedure for a child. Additionally, Republicans amended this bill to also include a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed. We added this amendment because the data shows that a waiting period will save lives; that some women contemplating an abortion will reconsider during that 24 hours and choose to have their baby. We also took this action to provide an opportunity for the newly constituted Iowa Supreme Court to reconsider the egregious ruling of the Cady Court a few years ago, when they engaged in judicial activism and struck down our 72-hour waiting period, thus creating a fundamental right to abortion that simply did not exist in the Iowa Constitution. Thanks to Judicial Nomination Reform that I successfully floor-managed into law, Governor Reynolds has placed constructionist judges on the bench. This will have a positive impact on the judiciary for decades to come. Unborn lives matter, and we must continue to fight for our precious unborn children.

What we did not do:

  • We did not vote to defund our heroic men and women in law enforcement, nor will we. We did not vote to “de-prioritize” law and order, nor will we. These demands were made by some of the protestors and rioters. There can be no justice and peace without law and order and there can be no law and order without the brave men and women in blue. Those of us who understand that this concept is fundamental to the survival of our Republic, must stand up and vocally support law enforcement. Our men and women in blue get up every day, regardless of the social and political climate, put on their uniform and head into harms way to protect and to serve. God bless them.








Restoring trust in public health

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”

― George MacDonald (Scottish Poet, 1824-1905)


Trust is the backbone of society.


Without trust, society quickly breaks down.


Can you imagine walking into a store and not being able to trust the merchant?


That’s how it was in the former Soviet Union, grocery stores would have two scales so customers could ensure they weren’t being skimped. 


Thankfully, in the United States, we have a culture of trust and cooperation.


Trust creates economic prosperity. How could e-commerce have ever started if there wasn’t a substantial base level of trust established when shopping on Ebay or Amazon?


In recent weeks, the public trust in authorities has plummeted.


Part of the distrust comes from a hysterical media that’s intent on drumming up emotions rather than clear, critical thinking.


But also, the actions (or lack thereof) on the part of health authorities has also damaged their own credibility..


I’m hopeful to offer some constructive suggestions on how we can move forward rebuilding social trust.

Restoring Faith in Public Health Authorities


“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche (German philosopher, 1844-1900


January 14th, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) now famously declared via Twitter:

Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in#Wuhan, #China


Theories surrounding this virus have obviously been updated since January.

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. Allowing people to change their minds as new evidence emerges makes sense.


But when you’re a global health authority offering the world guidance, forgiveness can be harder to come by.


Indeed, this tweet, along with many other statements, is the basis for President Trump cutting-off funding for the WHO. This leaves Bill Gates as the largest source of financial support for the organization.


Narrative of the virus aside, there are many other omissions, and failures to inform, that call into question the reliability of health agencies.


Failure to offer any personal health strategy


The number one criticism I’ve heard of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), is the failure to offer any guidance or suggestions on how individuals can bolster their personal health and immune systems.


It’s very strange when you think about it…


There are lots of tools and nutritional guidance available, backed by solid clinical evidence, to promote health.


Vitamin C


Vitamin D (+ sunshine)


Vitamin A






There is an overwhelming amount of information available that validates the medial efficacy of these approaches. Yet for some reason, press conferences go by day after day and public health officials never once mention it.


All of these supplements are very affordable, at least relative to conventional medicine and the cost of getting sick.


Why won’t a single American health agency mention this… at all?


The corporate controlled media is equally silent.


Medicine is a complex field with multiple considerations and contending possibilities...

Yet somehow it's been boiled down to a one size fits all approach for everyone.

Even promising reports and remedies, like the early administration of Hydroxychloroquine + Azythromycin + zinc, were viciously smeared by coordinated media efforts.

Politicizing potential treatments for viral disease is the peak of stupidity. 

There will always be many different avenues in medicine, and it's important for each person to tailor a health approach that works for them.

Failure to recognize this leads to theories that public health agencies and media won't substantiate any health protocol that rivals the patents and profits of pharmaceutical companies.


(visiting with former president of the Iowa Medical Society Dr. Marygrace Olson, OB/GYN at UIHCC, March 4th, 2020)


Restoring our National Health


We know that co-morbidities are driving virus fatalities. Obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes, all put a person at much higher risk for serious complications from the virus.


Back in March I innocently asked a doctor acquaintance of mine, "why can't public health social distancing requirements just apply to those with complicating conditions..."


"Well for one thing, you're talking about forty percent of the population!"


It’s imperative that we grapple with the fact that we are not the healthiest nation...


Would it then make sense for public health agencies to offer guidance and leadership in alleviating these glaring conditions?


Or some sort of serious effort to examine and identify systemic causes for our declining health?


At the very least, encouragement that it’s possible to live a healthier life?


I mean, if the public health agencies truly cared for the health of the people... this would be obvious.


It makes tremendous sense when looking at the future of healthcare costs.

The utilitarian benefits of having a healthy population are tremendous to the government and society.

Yet there is little urgency to reverse our declining health trends.


Health agencies are clearly willing to turn the world upside down, ‘even if it saves one life,’ as NY Governor Cuomo proudly declared.


The Babylon Bee satirically lampooned that the government would be shutting down fast food restaurants to prevent heart disease.


But all things considered, it would be fascinating to measure the health impact of such a strategy versus the policy of arresting people in their homes.


One silver lining of the COVID crisis could be a sober conversation on this difficult but important topic, helping Americans get back on a trajectory of health and well being.


It’s tough to take public health bureaucrats seriously when they fail to lead this dialogue.


Is it smart to blindly trust public health agencies when we’re witnessing our nation’s health deteriorate before our eyes?


Just to be clear, I don’t claim to have any easy solutions to our national health criss. 


Best idea I have is to pray about it, which I’m frequently reminded is not considered to be an acceptable political solution.


Second best idea was to include yoga and massage therapy with Medicaid.


I have no scientific evidence for that proposal other than a hunch that a little relaxation and flexibility can go a long way towards a healthy life.



Sincerely Yours in Freedom,


Jeff Shipley

Make Iowa God's Country Again! #MIAGCA


P.S. I am excited to lead on these issues, but I know being outspoken puts a target on my back. If you want to these values championed in the public arena, then please consider a generous donation to the Peace and Prosperity Committee, to help us hold our seat in the Iowa House. 

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Peace and Prosperity Report Vol. 10

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" - Hebrews 11:1 NIV


Friends and Neighbors,

We are living in a changing world, a time of great transformation.

The months ahead could very well set the course for the rest of the century.

As human beings, we have conscious power to decide what kind of world we live in.

I hope we can work together to create a world of health and happiness.

Celebrating a Happy Mothers Day!


Public Health Emergency


After eight weeks of ‘substantial community spread’ of coronavirus, we now have data to give us a clearer picture of the health risks we’re facing.


Thank heavens Iowa has largely been spared from the brunt of the virus. You can track Iowa data here: https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/


There’s been controversy in the reporting of fatalities for COVID-19. Comparing annual total death figures gives an overall snapshot of pandemic severity. 

As you can see from these numbers from IDPH, deaths in the state of Iowa for 2020 are presently very similar to 2019.


Most of the severe outbreaks of COVID-19 resulting in death have been on the east coast. But even still, the number of severe cases and fatalities are far fewer than anything predicted by the experts and health authorities.


As the data continues to come in nationwide, the CDC has already compared this outbreak to a severe flu season.


We shut down society and cancelled everything to slow the spread of the virus, or else our healthcare systems would be overrun.


“15 days to flatten the curve” is what we were told… 


Thankfully in Iowa, the end of the emergency is in sight, as the Governor proclaims that our healthcare systems have plenty of capacity and are well equipped.


Other areas of the country aren’t so lucky as citizens are being instructed to brace for additional months of house arrest.


It’s worth noting that the impact of lockdowns on disease spread is not immediately apparent. 


Sweden is a notable example for taking less aggressive authoritarian measures and not experiencing adverse health outcomes.

Even the overwhelmingly globalist journal Foreign Affairs remarks:

Much about the disease remains poorly understood, but countries that are locked down now could very well face new and even more severe outbreaks down the road. If these countries follow the Swedish path to herd immunity, the total cost of the pandemic will decrease, and it will likely end sooner.”


Pestilence, plague and disease have been in this world since the beginning of time…

Human freedom is a more recent occurrence.


Public health strategies that don’t preserve freedom will certainly be a curse that’s worse than the disease.

We must shift focus to personal health strategies that can optimize an individual’s well-being. We must not live like helpless victims to the forces of illness.


I encourage everyone to make conscious purposeful decisions to proactively promote health and healing. First and foremost, health is a state of mind before its a state of body.

Personal responsibility, critically engaged and healthy minds, is what will protect our prosperity and the spirit of America.


But there are some things that are beyond our control…


And that’s where prayer and faith plays an important role, acting with the wisdom that God is ultimately in control, and that God is good and loves us beyond imagination.


The peace that transcends all understanding…


I hope we can cultivate our spiritual maturity to the point where accepting death as a part of life leads to living each and every moment with greater appreciation and love.


That would be a magnificent public health outcome!


"Make Southeast Iowa God's Country Again!" #MSEIAGCA


I don’t want to live in a science fiction dystopia


"We're taking things that are genetically-modified organisms and we're injecting them into little kid's arms, we just shoot 'em right into the vein." - Bill Gates


As important as proactively declaring the world you wish to live in is, equally important is clarifying that which you do not want.


How does someone articulate a useful thought in a time like this?


The last thing the world needs is more mindless pontification and repetition.


A certain segment becomes arrogantly assertive of unproven beliefs.... beholden to the official establishment dogma.


But like many, I sit here watching the days unfold with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach...


Many recent events are disturbing based on magnitude alone:


  • US Workers have filed over 33 million claims for unemployment


  • Treasury Department has announced $4.5 TRILLION in new debt


  • Federal Reserve has ‘printed’ $2.5 TRILLION new dollars in the last eight weeks


  • New York, California, Illinois, teeter at the edge of financial catastrophe

Other events are disturbing on the basis of what they reveal about our world, the ethical questions raised, and the agendas that are not well understood by an unwitting public:




There is so much that needs to be said about the current public health emergency; many complex topics requiring in depth critical thinking mature sober analysis.


Frankly, I’m still doing my best to wrap my head around so much of this.


But perhaps the best starting point is just imagining the world we’d most like to live in.


Let us not be naive to the fact that global elites are keen on pushing a certain agenda for the world.

...and there are some fates that are worse than death.


In response, we must be conscious and deliberate in advancing an alternative vision. It’s not enough to simply react to whatever is in the news.


We must create the world we wish to live, we must be the change we wish to see.


Legislature will resume June 3rd

After 11 long weeks of suspension, the legislature is set to resume it’s duties the morning of June 3rd.


I encourage all Iowans to get engaged in the legislative process, it's important the voice of the people is heard loud and clear.


The legislature’s chief constitutional duty is to pass a budget.


This will be an enormously difficult task anticipating a severe revenue shortfall with hundreds of thousands of Iowans looking to the state for assistance.


Other legislative topics that are on the table:


  • Identifying key priorities for economic relief
  • Education reforms to incorporate distance learning
  • Election bill to ensure safe and secure elections in a post-virus world

My personal priority will be revisiting the state’s emergency powers and crafting more specificity on what constitutes a health emergency.


I’m hearing a lot of concern around the state’s power for compulsory treatments and imposing quarantines, including mandatory vaccinations.


A lot of Iowans have asked me to take a proactive role in protecting them from a mandatory vaccine.


That’s a project I’m happy to help with and I’m presently working on shaping those efforts.


Given the hysteria surrounding the present coronavirus, it’s not unthinkable that our government could deploy a potentially harmful vaccine.


That’s exactly what happened in 1976.


Many prominent voices in vaccinology are sounding the alarm on the potential for an unsafe coronavirus vaccine, even Bill Gates admits that 1 in 10,000 could see serious side affects.


Despite those clear warnings, regulators still express a desire to take serious shortcuts with safety. 


We can’t let the people of Iowa be treated like guinea pigs.


I'm glad most of us can agree on that.




Rep. Jeff Shipley

Iowa House District 82



Everything is at stake in our battle for medical freedom. I'd be honored to have you show your support with a generous financial contribution. I know the special interests will throw everything they have against me, but with you're support, I won't give an inch.

Please give today, you and I have everything to lose if we're not successful.

I pledge my name, my fortune, and my sacred honor for freedom!


Peace and Prosperity Report Vol. 9

"for I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

-Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, 1800



This week is funnel week, the first deadline for policy bills in the Iowa Legislature. Legislation must be passed out of committee by the end of this week to be considered by the entire chamber.


Here’s part one highlighting some of the issues I’ve been working on. We’ve had several productive subcommittees but getting bills out of committee is a big legislative hurdle. 

The Iowa Cell Siting Act and 5G

"The cell phone has become the adult's transitional object, replacing the toddler's teddy bear for comfort and sense of belonging

-Margaret Heffernan


Perhaps the hottest topic in Fairfield is the proliferation of telecommunications equipment.


‘The Iowa Cell Siting Act’ prevents local governments from denying permits to new installations. The act is written to sunset in July, 2022, but there is a push to extend that date to 2025.


Consumers have long preferred ‘fast and cheap’ over ‘safety and privacy.’ The FCC hasn’t updated their rules governing radiation emissions since 1996, and many people express concerns of relevant and important science being ignored.


HR 101 establishes a legislative committee to review the relevant safety standards to hopefully pick up the slack from the FCC.


HF 2113 deletes the language from the Iowa Cell Siting Act that prevents local governments from considering environmental or health concerns.


HF 2114 allows local governments to meet a certain threshold to circumvent the Iowa Cell Siting Act.


HF 2112 takes an idea that the Iowa Utility Board brought forth in their smart meter ruling, of a ‘community opt-out.’ This bill allows homeowners associations, or any other political subdivision where parcel owners are bound by covenants, to govern the utility equipment (smart meters) and telecommunication equipment (5G) within their association. This solves these issues with a scalpel, allowing individual neighborhoods to govern themselves.


Sadly, the discussion on these issues at the Capitol has not made as much progress as our big victories on smart meters last year. 


However on the local level, Fairfield is blessed with Mayor Connie Boyer who has been absolutely superb in bringing all sides to the table to figure out a way forward on these topics.


Maharishi Vedic City also deserves high praise for their bold leadership challenging the supremacy of state law and asserting their right to govern these issues.


I have offered my bills as amendments to the extension of the ‘Cell Siting Act,’ HF 2213, guaranteeing myself an opportunity to address these topics if that bill comes to the floor.


Offering amendments to bills, especially bills that are considered priorities of your own party, is considered a hallmark of legislative leadership.

Listening intently to telecommunication lobbyists make their case.


Industrial Residues and Contaminants in Food


"Let food be thy medicine" - Hippocrates (disputed)


Since being elected, I’ve been desperate to connect the dots between nutrition and overall health outcomes, especially in children. 


I’ve affectionately dubbed this my ‘sauerkraut agenda,’ to draw attention to the importance of a healthy gut, and how simple dietary changes can make a profound difference.


One functional nutrition hero that’s local to Iowa is Dr. Terry Wahls, who developed a diet protocol to alleviate her multiple sclerosis.

The gut microbiome is garnering a lot more attention, even in psychiatry and mental health.


Basically, these concepts have the power to transform entire branches of medicine. It simply requires an overhaul of conventional nutrition wisdom and the willingness to make improvements to the Standard American Diet (SAD).


Given the prevalence of various environmental contaminants and industrial residues in food, what we’re NOT eating is equally important.


This is important feedback I gained from the autism community, where parents are placing increasing attention on dietary triggers in their children. One particular trigger that I kept hearing about is glyphosate.


Glyphosate is one of many chemical inputs used in industrial food production. The question is whether frequent exposure to industrial residues over time contributes to negative health consequences.


Since learning about the tremendous stress in our schools relating to students with unique behavior and psychiatric challenges, I’ve been desperate to find a holistic approach to addressing the issue.


Hence, I’ve been doing my best to hone in on the existing research that connects exposure to contaminants in food to behavior disorders in children.


A lot more research is needed, especially on how various environmental contaminants interact.


But given what we do know, it would be extremely irresponsible to ignore these questions.


HF2200, which would test school food for the presence of glyphosate, was my best attempt to collect data on this subject.


My bill also comes with the disclaimer:


“Industrial residues and other contaminants accumulate in the food chain and present a toxicological concern to children. A growing body of scientific research suggests high concentrations of glyphosate may be connected to behavioral and psychiatric disorders. Additional science is needed, especially pertaining to the relationship of various environmental contaminants that are common in the industrialized world.”


I’m not sure if I can vote in favor of education budgets with a clean conscience absent a serious exploration of this topic.


Suffice it to say, the federal and state laws governing school nutrition are atrocious and run contrary to many functional nutrition principles. It makes it harder to make any constructive suggestions because any idea is met with a brick wall of bureaucracy.


I am actively seeking out interested parties who can help shine light on this issue to see what progress can be made locally.

Thankful for Mr. Tierney of Bayer for making a special visit to the capitol and connecting on glyphosate questions.


There are many more important issues that I’m focused on, and that are moving in the Iowa Legislature.


I will do my best to keep you posted on what I find most relevant. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out and thank you for everything you do to make Iowa peaceful and prosperous!




Rep. Jeff Shipley


Peace and Prosperity Report Vol. 8


The Iowa Legislature is back in session. It’s my great honor to have a desk working for Iowans in this beautiful building. Serving in this position brings many rewarding experiences along with unique challenges. I’m thankful for all of you helping me learn and grow to be the very best Representative I can be.

As we look forward to the next decade, there is a lot for which to be grateful.

Iowa’s industry is booming and unemployment is at historic lows.

Globally, poverty is plummeting, with many millions of people gaining access to basic amenities like electricity and sanitation for the very first time.

The information age creates abundant opportunities for growth and evolution for each and every individual.  

But there are also many challenges facing our society:


Children's' Health Crisis


We may be rich but our health is lacking. Chronic disease is on the rise. The increasing numbers of children with autism, ADHD, diabetes, and many various other conditions will certainly put immense pressure on healthcare costs in the future.

As you might imagine, this children’s healthcare crisis is also putting enormous stress on our public school system.

My biggest assignment in the Iowa House is the Education Committee. This week, we met with the Department of Education to hear from department staff.

The main achievements of Iowa’s education system have been incorporating more work-based learning and expanded computer science instruction. Most notable is access to the work-based learning clearinghouse through the Future Ready Iowa program.

This is a positive development because a frequent complaint of high school students is not having enough coursework that’s relevant to their career. 

But instead of discussing those achievements, the committee's conversation was dominated by questions regarding the behavioral and psychiatric crisis affecting students.

Of particular interest is the practice of classroom clears and seclusion rooms in elementary education. This is where behavior is so disruptive that a child needs isolation, or sometimes the entire classroom needs to be vacated to give the kid space. It’s important not to traumatize the other kids when a student is needing restraint. The State Board of Education is in the process of revising rules on these practices, giving teachers the authority to act in their best interest whenever there is risk of bodily injury.


A lot of the discussion centered around the need for better data and identifying patterns of behavior for particular kids. Federal rules tell educators to place students with special needs in their least restrictive environment. As the numbers of students with special needs rises, the applicability and wisdom of the least restrictive environment dictate is being questioned.

I asked the department, “what theories are there that could possibly explain the sharp rise in behavior and psychiatric disorders among children?”

I was told there are a few theories out there but they are very controversial.

Children’s mental health will obviously be shaped by a number of factors. Home life and parenting is usually the first topic of discussion. Then the nature of increased expectations and demands of young people is often mentioned. For adolescents, a toxic social media culture is usually noted.

The more controversial theories for young children question the foods and pharmaceuticals that children consume, and environmental toxins and contaminants that are common in the industrialized world, especially in utero exposure.

The Iowa Legislature as a body is certainly capable of collecting taxes and spending money. But when faced with enormous challenges, sometimes I question if we have the capability of even asking the right questions.

I expect the Iowa House to approve another $100 million for public education in the coming weeks. But absent a greater level of exploration of these topics I fear our children's health, and the stress it places on our cherished public educators, will only get worse.


Suicide Epidemic and the Meaning of Life


Probably the most alarming data point is that suicidal ideations has risen 59% among 11th graders from 2012 to 2018. Suicide recently became the number one cause of death of young men in America.

To me, this indicates a crisis of identity, and a crisis of meaning in the psychology of our society.

What I find unbelievably frustrating about working in the Iowa House, is the seeming inability for many legislators to ask bigger picture questions on these alarming social trends.

Last year I served on a subcommittee for HF 504, which would mandate suicide prevention education in high school. It strikes me as lazy and uncreative when government acts as if a mandate, like waving a magic wand, can alleviate a problem.

I wondered aloud if anyone bothered to ask these students what factors motivate their suicidal thoughts. Not surprisingly that question had not been asked, thus limiting our understanding of what’s driving the data.

This year, legislators are suggesting in HF 2409 to print a suicide prevention hotline on the back of student identification cards.

I suppose I can sympathize with the intention, but if I was a student I’d be irritated being reminded of the tragedy of suicide every time I glance at my school ID.

My understanding of the psychology motivating suicide is that individuals feel their life has no meaning, no significance, and is thus not worthy of even living.

Inspired by a message that my high school literature teacher gifted graduating seniors, I’m countering with my own proposal:

Include an eloquent and uplifting message affirming the value of human life on the back of student IDs, such as:


"No matter the setting, circumstances, or crowd, remember that you are immensely valuable as you. Stand firm in your feelings, values, and intuition and know that it is you who holds your life path in your hands. You are important, unique, and irreplaceable. Live so you celebrate that truth"

Creating a culture where each and every child instinctively knows their innate value and worth to the world is the only approach worth considering.

I hope I can be a part of this solution through my service as State Representative.

Thank you for all you do to make Iowa peaceful and prosperous!


Jeff Shipley

Iowa House of Representatives

District 82 (Jefferson, Davis, & Van Buren Counties)



Last year's newsletters



Excited to meet Kayla Shipley from the Department of Education, specializing in school nutrition, and originally from Floris.


Visiting with outgoing Education Director Dr. Ryan Wise, attempting to comprehend what's happening in our schools.


Visiting with newly elected Speaker of the Iowa House Pat Grassley, Sen. Chuck Grassley's thirty-six year-old grandson.