There's Still Time in Legislative Session to Talk Budget, Property Tax Relief and Education Reform
Senator Jerry Behn says while time is running out in the session, there is still time to pass three key pieces of legislation.
Submitted by Senator Jerry Behn
You might describe an Iowa legislative session as one giant foot race and as this year’s runner is rounding the corner on the final lap, he seems to be limping toward the finish.
But there is some good news! That runner can still be a winner.
There is still time to enact legislation that can bring about true reforms, measurable results and real progress for hardworking Iowa taxpayers.
It starts with three big issues: the budget, property tax relief and education reform.
Senate Republicans made it clear from the start of the session that Iowa’s budget should:
- Not spend more dollars than our state takes in
- Be balanced without raising taxes
- Be free of the use of one-time dollars for ongoing expenses
- Be transparent and should have money set aside for future needs
As negotiations continue on these important budget bills, expected to total over $6.2 billion dollars, Senate Republicans remain committed to standing up for the hardworking taxpayers of Iowa.
Property Tax Relief
Iowa has some of the highest property taxes in the nation.
Without significant, authentic and aggressive property tax relief for all classes of property, Iowans will only continue to see substantial job-killing property tax increases over the next decade. Passing authentic property tax reform will send a distinct message to our current and prospective job creators that Iowa is the place to do business and invest in our people.
- We need property tax reform for all classes of property
- We need relief that limits the shift from one class of property to another
In order to create more jobs in Iowa, we need property tax relief and Senate Republicans stand ready to help pass authentic reform.
Governor Branstad and Senate Republicans have made it a top priority to get Iowa education back on the right track.
Over the past decade, Iowa’s standing in education has stagnated significantly compared to the rest of the country. Simultaneously, we have spent billions of dollars on an annual basis and yet have not achieved the results our students deserve and parents and taxpayers expect.
- Education should be about preparing our students to achieve success and be productive citizens.
- Education should be about achievement and teaching our children the necessary skills they need to successfully compete in the global marketplace.
- Let’s get back to setting high standards and expectations for our students and challenge them to reach their fullest potential.
- Students will rise to the challenge if we provide them with world-class standards, ambitious benchmarks and a rigorous curriculum grounded in the fundamentals of reading, writing, math, science, history and civics.
Senate Republicans remain hopeful that we will have meaningful education reform this session but a lot of work remains.
There are two outcomes that can happen in the days or weeks that lie ahead. That runner can stumble and fall and not bring about the measurable results Iowans deserve or he can run through the tape with a victory.
That runner may not have done it by setting any speed records, but he can head home knowing that his victory will bring about meaningful progress to those back in his community.
That’s the finish we should all hope for and that’s the outcome Senate Republicans remain committed to see happening.
Senate Republican Leader