The 2022 session began on January 10th. During the first week we heard the Governor, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the Major General of the Iowa Guard give us updates. We also heard from the majority and minority leadership of the Senate. These speeches, especially that of the Governor, help set the tone and direction for the legislative season. There seems to be agreement that we should lower taxes, grow Iowa’s workforce, and make Iowa an attractive place to live.
The Governor’s proposal was to make Iowa’s personal income tax a flat tax of 4%; this would be less than half of the top rate today. That would mean that an average Iowa family will pay $1300 less than they do now. The Governor also wants to eliminate taxes on all retirement income. To be fair to farmers, she would make a retired farmer’s cash rent income tax free.
Some may say these goals will cost the state too much. That was said in 2019 as well when we passed the biggest tax cut in Iowa’s history. Senator Whitver reminded us in his opening remarks: “Recently, Iowa was rated as one of the best states for opportunity. We were named the state in the strongest position to withstand the Covid pandemic and we were also named the fastest state to recover from it. After 5 years of a Republican trifecta, Iowa’s success is no longer subjective – it’s objective.”
Many citizens have contacted me with requests to stop the vaccine mandates. There are many different ideas being circulated in both chambers and there is much debate over what we can and can’t pass. Along with stopping the mandates, I also want to make sure that schools cannot provide vaccinations without prior written consent and that all vaccine related injuries are reported. I have been contacted by many who have friends or relatives with adverse health events following a vaccine that were never reported. We will never know the safety of these vaccinations if we don’t keep accurate records.
Another issue that I am working on is to prohibit the Iowa Public Retirement System from investing in Chinese military and surveillance companies. Currently we have millions of dollars invested in companies that do not have our best interests in mind. We must not let this continue.
I always enjoy interacting with constituents throughout the session and I encourage you to consider a trip to the Capitol. With the Covid restrictions more relaxed we are able to again meet with visitors to hear your ideas face to face. You can always email me at [email protected] or call my cell at (641) 430-0424.