Last week was the deadline to get bills out of committee. Consequently, we shifted to more floor debate his week. We debated a number of issues, around 90% of those being passed without dissent. Some of those bills covered deer hunting licenses, fees for public records, and attracting people to the workforce. Schools should appreciate raising the limitation for IPERS retirees under 65, allowing teachers, bus drivers and others to come back to work without affecting IPERS retirement funds.
The big news for week seven of the 2022 legislative session is the passage of comprehensive tax relief. Iowa’s economy has done very well prior to and through the Covid-19 challenge due to great leadership from our governor and her team. Cautious budgeting and keeping our economy open has given us a large surplus of taxpayer money on hand. Rather than sending taxpayers a one-time check, the legislature has opted to take this opportunity to reduce taxes and help make your tax bill smaller every year.
Individual income tax will be reduced to one rate of 3.9% for everyone in 2026. On average, the Iowa taxpayer will receive about $1326 in tax relief or around a 36% reduction. This will move Iowa’s income tax from one of the highest among the states to the fourth lowest. This reform will also eliminate all taxes on retirement income and on retired farmers’ rent income. Our goal is to make Iowa competitive among the states as a place to work and retire.
Governor Reynolds’s hard work for Iowans earned her the opportunity to deliver the official Republican response to President Biden’s state of the union address on March 1. This honor is given to a strong Republican whose actions and policies embody true conservative leadership. Her common-sense policies and conservative ideals have helped keep Iowa open, successful, and thriving. I look forward to watching Governor Reynolds deliver her speech and show the country how Iowans think.
On Wednesday morning, I had the opportunity to witness the oral arguments for Planned Parenthood vs. Governor Reynolds at the Iowa Supreme Court. This case is over the constitutionality of requiring a 24 hour waiting period before getting an abortion. The make-up of the Supreme Court has dramatically changed over the past 10 years. We can never predict an outcome, but I have high hopes for a decision supporting the 24-hour wait before obtaining an abortion.
I enjoy having constituents visit me at the Capitol. iJag students came on Monday from Algona to inform me about their program to interest students in what happens after graduation. It was encouraging to hear from a student who went from under-performing to totally getting engaged and using school to prepare him for the future. Connecting education with real life is always transformational. Farm Bureau members arrived on Wednesday from Hancock and Wright counties to visit with me about taxes, government land purchasing, and E-15.
Upcoming forums: 10AM Lake Mills Theater/ Ole’s Office Space (across from the Post Office); 12:00PM Thompson Library; 2:30 PM Forest City NSB Bank (not Bowman’s Fine Arts Center); 9 AM Estherville Regional Wellness Center