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2017 First Funnel Survivors

Attached is a list and short description of bills that survived the first funnel.  The list DOES NOT include bills which failed to achieve committee approval.

2017 First Funnel Survivors

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Iowa Ranked #3 in Child Well-Being

Yesterday the Anne E. Casey Foundation released their 2014 KidsCount report, a data book on state trends in child well-being, and determined that Iowa is the third best state in the country for kids.  Massachusetts and Vermont were the only two states to place above Iowa.

KidsCount Ranks

The report scored each state based on four measures:

  1. Economic Well-Being
  2. Education
  3. Health
  4. Family and Community

Iowa scored very well in all four categories, even earning the top spot for child health.

Iowa’s ranks:

  • Economic Well-Being – 3rd
  • Education – 13th
  • Health – 1st
  • Family and Community – 7th

Click here to read the full report.

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CNBC Ranks Iowa as #12 Top State for Business

CNBC has recently ranked Iowa as #12 in their Top States for Business rankings.  Overall Georgia ranked 1st in the country, followed by Texas and Utah respectively.  The Midwest is heavily represented on the list with 6 states in the top 15.

CNBC writes:

We score all 50 states on 56 measures of competitiveness, developed using input from business groups, economic development experts, companies and the states themselves. States receive points based on their rankings in each metric. We then separate those metrics into 10 broad categories, weighting the categories based on how frequently they are cited in state economic development marketing materials. That way, our study ranks the states based on the criteria they use to sell themselves.

Click here to see Iowa’s ranks…

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2014 End of Session Report

Website article header

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

2014 End of Session Wrap-Up

*Note:  All information is current as of May 1, 2014

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Happy Tax Freedom Day, Iowa!

Tax Freedom Day 2014 Map

Yesterday was Tax Freedom Day in Iowa.  This is the day when Iowans finally have earned enough money to pay off their total tax bill for the year.  This includes taxes at the federal, state, and local levels.  This year Iowa taxpayers worked until April 13th (18th earliest nationally) to pay all federal, state, and local tax bills.  In 2013, Tax Freedom Day in Iowa was April 9th (17th earliest).

Read more about Tax Freedom Day…

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Iowa’s AAA Credit Rating

The Tax Foundation published a map this week detailing all 50 state’s credit ratings.  Only 13 states are able to claim a pristine AAA credit rating; one of which is Iowa.  Take a look at the map below to see how Iowa stacks up compared to the rest of the country (especially our neighbor to the east, who has a major unfunded pension liability).

State Credit Ratings

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Friedman Foundation Finds that Iowans Support School Choice

Transcending Partisan Views on Choice

From the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

By Paul DiPerna

They do things differently in Iowa.  And I mean they do so in a refreshing way.

As I have talked with folks there, it is easy to pick up a “we are in this together” attitude when it comes to public education.  And the idea of “public education” does not have to be defined by inputs and sources of funding revenue. Rather, I get the impression public education means everyone can contribute to a worthy public good—district schools, charter schools, private schools, homeschoolers, and so on. Everyone can contribute to progress.

Click here to read the Foundation’s report…

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Iowa 6th for Debt Among College Grads

student-debtA new report, from the Institute of College Access and Success shows that Iowa’s college students are the 6th most indebted in the country, with 72% of graduates taking out student loans and an average debt of over $28,000.

While politicians in Washington D.C. argue over what to charge borrowers in interest, Republicans in the Iowa House know that the real problem with student loans is the overall price of higher education.  In an effort to keep that principal loan balance as low as possible, House Republicans voted for an education budget that froze tuition at Iowa’s three state universities, for the first time in over three decades!  House Republicans know that a college education is very important and will continue to keep costs down at our state schools, and make higher education as affordable as possible.

Click here to read the Register’s article…

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54% of Iowans Favor School Choice

school-choice

A survey, released on Monday, finds that a majority of Iowans favor school choice.  To see the full survey results, from the Friedman Foundation, click here.

Iowans favor school choice, survey finds

From the Quad City Times

By Dan Bowerman

A majority of Iowans support a school voucher program in the state, according to a survey released today by a national school choice advocacy group.

The Friedman Foundation, named after the late economist and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, issued the survey, which found 54 percent of those asked said they supported a school voucher program, while 39 percent were against such a program.

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Des Moines Make List of Top 3 Best Cities to Start a Business

Des Moines

From the Des Moines Register

By Lillian Schrock

report released by Forbes Magazine today ranks Des Moines among the three best United States cities to start a business.

“Heading to massive urban sprawls may not be the greatest idea if you’re just getting started,” Forbes said. “If you are an entrepreneur ready to get into gear and set down roots, consider one of these metropolitan areas.”

The report, calling Des Moines “the Midwest’s darling,” says the city’s business costs are 17 percent lower than the national average. It also says the city has the highest concentration of financial services employment in the U.S.

The cherry on top: the cost of living in Iowa’s capital is 9 percent less than the national average.

Continue reading…

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