This week, the Legislature hit the first self-imposed deadline we use to narrow the number of bills still eligible for debate. While there are a few exceptions for tax and budget bills, any bill that has not cleared a House or Senate Committee this week is dead for the year. The bills we need to build a strong middle class are still alive this year.
Improving Iowa schools by boosting teacher quality, increasing student achievement and supporting innovation
An increase in basic aid to local schools by 4% beginning on July 1, 2013, while avoiding any related property tax increase (SF 51 & SF 52) and an additional 4% beginning on July 1, 2014 (SF 161 & SF 162). And education reforms (SSB 1228) that will improve opportunities and accountability for students and educators.
Investing in Skilled Worker Training to Expand Iowa’s Middle Class
There is bipartisan support to invest a total of $25 million in new funding for community colleges to fill skilled job openings at local businesses, and to ensure our state remains a competitor in the global economy (SF 291).
Expand affordable health care
We can reduce the chance that a serious illness will bankrupt Iowa families and slow the rise in everyone’s health care costs through Medicaid expansion (SF 296 & HF 83).
Grow Iowa’s economy
Make more state purchases from Iowa companies (SF 15 & HF 93) and encourage taxpayer funded projects to use American companies (SF70). Use tax credits to encourage the growth and expansion of targeted businesses (SF 205). Help startup companies expand and grow and provide microloans to small businesses (SF 274). Provide a health care tax credit to small businesses (SSB 1024).
Cut taxes for working families and for small and Main Street businesses
Prevent education-related property tax hikes by using the Taxpayer Trust Fund (SF 53); Cut commercial property taxes for all Iowa businesses, a bigger tax cut for 9 out of 10 businesses when compared to the Governor’s plan while protecting homeowners from a tax increase (SF 295); Cut taxes for families, small businesses and farmers through federal income tax coupling (SF 106 & HF 110).