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Iowa’s Diverse Economy is Thriving

From the Iowa Economic Development Authority

Categorized by many simply as an “agriculture state,” in reality the economic landscape in Iowa is much more complex. Home to a diverse and robust industry mix, Iowa offers a strong economy and numerous business opportunities in a variety of industry segments — including targeted sectors of advanced manufacturing, biosciences and insurance and financial services.

Nine industry segments contribute $127.7 billion real gross domestic product (GDP) to Iowa’s economy, with the service industry employing more than one-third of the state’s workforce and manufacturing contributing the largest share (20.8 percent) of total output.

Iowa, which ranks third in the U.S. for job creation, added more than 11,600 non-farm jobs this past year growing the total state workforce of 1.485 million.

Iowa is among the leading states in terms of low unemployment rates, more than 33 percent lower than the national average.

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Des Moines Tops List Of The Best Places For Business And Careers

Des Moines

From Forbes

By Kurt Badenhausen

Last week’s jobs report for July showed unemployment dropping from 7.6% to 7.4%, which marks the lowest rate since December 2008. Good times, right? Not exactly. The rate fell in part because more and more Americans have ceased looking for work. Wage growth has been anemic and the recovery from the recession has been the slowest since World War II. The U.S. economy is sputtering along at 2% growth.

But there are places with strong business climates, fueled by low costs and educated labor forces. With that in mind, Forbes crunched the numbers for our 15th annual list of the Best Places For Business And Careers.

Click here to read why Des Moines is #1…

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Notable Bills Effective July 1, 2013

The following is a list of notable bills that will be going into effect on July 1st.

Click here to see a PDF version of this list.

Appropriations

Items of Note Going into Effect on July 1 in Senate File 452:

Iowa Tuition Grants The state will increase the maximum amount a student at Iowa’s private colleges and universities can receive from $4000 to $5000 per year.

Training for Certain Community-based Care Training for providers of Medicaid-funded in-home and community-based care will be covered by Medicaid as a direct cost for the first time.  Previously, care providers had to absorb the cost of training.

Sex Offender Exclusion Zone State law will make it illegal for a sex offender to operate, manage, be employed by, or act as a contractor or volunteer at a business that operates an ice cream truck.

School Employee Background Checks Iowa law will now require all school employees to undergo a check of the sex offender registry, child abuse registry, and the dependent adult abuse registry prior to being hired.  For current employees, the section requires a school district to establish a policy which would require these employees to undergo the record check at least every five years after their date of hire.

If a current employee is found to be on one of the registries, that would be grounds for suspension pending a termination hearing by the school board.

Motor Vehicle Fee Equity For new electric cars titled with the state on or after July 1, the registration fee shall be based as it is for all other vehicle types, on the gross weight of the car.  This replaces the flat $25 annual fee that was previous law.

State Support for the Iowa Special OIympics The state will increase its financial support for this program from $50,000 to $100,000 annually.

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Cut Government Spending to Help the Economy? Majority Say Yes

Cost Reduction

A recent Rasmussen Report (subscription required) found that 65 percent of likely voters want the government to cut spending to help alleviate the country’s economic woes.  Read about it below:

From Rasmussen Reports

Concern that the government will do too much to help the economy is at its highest level since last fall.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 43% of Likely U.S. Voters are more worried that the federal government will do too much rather than not enough in reacting to the nation’s economic problems. That’s up from 39% in March and the highest level of concern since September.  Slightly more  (48%) still fear that the government won’t do enough to help the economy.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

To read the article on Rasmussen’s website, click here.

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2013 End of Session Report

The following is the House Republican Caucus Staff’s end of session report:

2013 End of Session Report

*Note:  All information is current as of May 22, 2013

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Caucus Staff Analysis – Wednesday, May 22

Below is a list of bills being debated today, with Caucus Staff’s analysis attached:

To see the full House Debate Calendar, click here.

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Caucus Staff Analysis – Tuesday, May 7

Below is a list of bills being debated today, with Caucus Staff’s analysis attached:

To see the full House Debate Calendar, click here.

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Caucus Staff Analysis – Monday, March 18

Below is a list of bills being debated today, with Caucus Staff’s analysis attached:

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2013 Funnel Survivors

Funnel

With the first funnel over the House has narrowed down the bills that are still alive for consideration this session.

To see a list of the “Funnel Survivors” view the list below, organized by committee, of all bills that survived the first funnel in the House.

2013 First Funnel Survivors

 

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Iowa’s Tax Climate Ranks in Bottom 10

Tax ClimateIn October, Iowa’s business tax climate was ranked in the bottom 10, at number 42 in a report from the Tax Foundation.

The 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index is based on each state’s individual income tax, sales tax, corporate income tax, property tax, and unemployment insurance tax.  Iowa was ranked in the bottom half of every category other than sales tax, and currently has the 2nd highest corporate income tax rate in the nation.

Iowa’s FY 2013 ranks are:

  • Corporate Tax – 49th
  • Property Tax – 37th
  • Unemployment Insurance Tax – 34th
  • Individual Income Tax – 33rd
  • Sales Tax – 24th

This report shows further evidence that Legislature needs enact tax relief and reform.  House Republicans are up to the task to reform and lower Iowa’s taxes and make it a place where new businesses want to grow and thrive.

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