News from the Hill…
The 85th General Assembly is under way with the first week about to be completed. This begins the 110 day session for 2013. Like all General Assemblies before, there are high hopes of much accomplishment again this year.
Governor Branstad begins the third year in this term; the Senate is still under the control of the democrats with a 26-24 vote edge and the House remains under the control of the republicans with a 53-46 vote edge. There is a special election in the northeast Iowa for a house seat that will change the house numbers by one.
I will serve on the Ways and Means Committee for the ninth year and will serve as the Chair for the third year. I was the ranking member the previous four years. I will also serve on the Public Safety Committee starting my 11th year and the Commerce Committee starting my ninth year. My committee assignments are rounded out by serving on the Legislative Council for the seventh year.
First Bills filed in the Iowa House…
House File 1 places the Iowa Taxpayer at the head of the table when it comes to our Iowa taxpayer’s trust fund. This bill takes the unused tax dollars and gives it back to the taxpayers. Letting Iowans keep more of their hard earned income helps stimulate Iowa’s economy in a faster and better way.
House File 2 begins the process on the House version of Property Tax relief. This bill increases the state’s share of the school funding formula. This provides dollar for dollar property tax relief. This method is the purest form of property tax relief there is. The bill provides property tax relief across all classes of property. It is predictable, sustainable and does not create a shift to other classes of property.
House File 3 provides an alternate code section under which to file your Iowa individual income tax returns. This gives Iowans a choice; they can choose to file under the present system that has nine different brackets with different credits and deductions. The other choice would be to file under the new code section established under HF 3 that eliminates all the credits and deductions and has one flat rate of 4.5%. This bill will start the discussion on ways to simplify and reduce the Iowa income tax burden. This could not come at a better time, the Governor of Nebraska is asking for the elimination of the Corporate and Individual Income taxes for their state. We presently have to compete with South Dakota, if Nebraska passes this legislation Iowa will lose more business’s and people to our western neighbors if we do nothing.
Live Action in Iowa House…
Last year the Iowa House started a Live House Video via the internet, so people could watch first hand on what was going on in the Iowa house without driving to Des Moines. This has been used in classrooms, living rooms and offices across this state. I have included the link below for your convenience if you would like to look and listen in some time.
Once again I will be sending out a weekly newsletter while we are in session. Many of the local papers print my newsletter; however there are a few who do not. If you know of someone who you think would like to receive this newsletter by email or hard copy. Contact me by the way they would like to receive the newsletter. This letter tries to inform the readers of what is going on in the Iowa House, but also lets people know of the upcoming forums, times and locations.
“…that this nation, under God, shall have new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Gettysburg Address – Abraham Lincoln
For more information on these and other bills: www.legis.iowa.gov
This week’s legislative forum:
Saturday, January 19th
Burlington Public Library
9:15 AM – 11:15 AM