Moments of silence in Iowa legislature

The 2011 Iowa legislature began this morning.  The state senate was first to convene.  Senate President Jack Kibbie read the names of the slain and injured in Saturday’s shooting in Arizona, then asked for a moment of silence.  He concluded by saying, “Amen.”

The Iowa House began a few minutes later, opening with a moment of silence “to recognize the tragedy in Arizona….All please stand an observe a moment of silence,” said Rep. Steve Lukan, the temporary speaker of the House.

The moments of silence in the House and the Senate were followed by opening prayers.

Iowa Republicans gathered this morning at 7 o’clock in a downtown hotel for a fundraising breakfast.  Their invocation, delivered by Senator-elect Joni Ernst, did not mention the Arizona incident.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs) began his opening-day remarks in the Iowa Senate by talking at length about the  shooting in Arizona.

“An elected representative was gunned down by doing what each of us do every day,” Gronstal said.  “…It’s an attack on our very system of government.”  Gronstal said it meant he began the session with “a more somber moment than usual,” but he added the incident should give all state legislators “a renewed sense of our responsiblity to our constituents.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.