Iowa Strong: Economy


A month ago at the State Fair, Republicans united to launch a new initiative that they will take to Iowa voters ahead of the election. The governor and lieutenant governor joined with House and Senate Republicans and the Republican Party of Iowa to create the Iowa Strong plan.

You may remember from my last newsletter that this plan has three main components – Strong Economy, Strong Budget Leadership and Strong Schools and Communities.

Throughout this fall Republicans will travel the state releasing more details of our plan and outlining a positive action plan to promote a durable and prosperous Iowa. Yesterday we kicked off this tour in and announced the details of our Iowa Strong Economy initiative.

Details of the plan are as follows:

Promote job creation through tax relief and reform

Universal Property Tax Reforms
Permanently reduce Iowa’s 3rd highest in the nation commercial / industrial property taxes through a rollback on their taxable value coupled with statewide reforms which reduce property taxes for all Iowans without shifting the taxes between classes.
Reduce Personal and Employer Income taxes
Reduce Iowa personal and employer income tax to flatten and lower our extremely high rates so ALL Iowans can keep more of their hard earned income and entrepreneurs can better compete and invest in Iowa.

Eliminate job-killing red tape and burdensome regulations

Jobs Impact Statement
Require regulatory bodies to consider and publish the impact any proposed new rules or regulations may have on jobs in Iowa. Governor Branstad issued an executive order requiring these jobs-impact statements, but legislation is needed to make this permanent.

Hold Agencies Accountable
Require regulatory bodies to establish timelines to handle applications and permits so bureaucracy is not slowing down economic growth.

Reduce fees
Conduct a review of all fees charged by agencies limiting the fees being collected to the actual cost of government to provide the service.

Increase career opportunities by investing in a skilled and competitive workforce

Improve coordination and maximize job training programs
Improve coordination of Iowa’s patchwork alphabet soup of workforce development programs and remove burdensome usage restrictions to maximize the impact of these critical work skill investments to empower companies and communities to provide the specific training needed to meet their particular needs for a modern skilled workforce.

Expand Entrepreneurship Education
Expand entrepreneurship education and mentorship opportunities to empower Iowans to create jobs. To that end, consolidate entrepreneurial education and related resources for AEA’s, School Districts, Community Colleges, students and teachers to allow more broad-based access to these vital resources.

Community Colleges
Build upon the record 2013 state investment in our community colleges which will help keep tuition affordable and provide the trained workforce Iowa needs to attract and maintain job creators.

STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math
Continue to grow the STEM initiative in Iowa by committing to legislation which increases opportunities and education in STEM related fields. This would include changes to Iowa’s teacher compensation law allowing school districts to pay science and math teachers higher salaries to keep or attract them to teaching.

Send a strong message that Iowa is a place to start and grow a business

Easiest state in the nation to start a business
Make Iowa the easiest state in the nation in which to start a business—measured in days, rather than weeks or months. To that end, create a one-stop electronic shop that pulls together all the start-up links and assistance programs needed to start a business in Iowa in a straightforward and streamlined web portal.

Protect our workforce
Put Right – to – Work in the Iowa Constitution, guaranteeing that Iowa employees will never be forced to join a union in order to keep their job. It will also help Iowa attract and retain high quality employers and the jobs that come with them. In addition, Republicans will put a stop to job killing legislation like Prevailing Wage and Open Scope Bargaining.

Make Iowa a Bio-Science Corridor
Make new strategic state investments in bio-science innovations to enhance our leadership position as the best place to research, develop and manufacture the bio-science innovations of the future. The state of Iowa should partner with our universities, economic development groups, and private businesses to make Iowa a Bio-Science Corridor that fosters job-creating bio-scientific breakthroughs that lead to new innovations, jobs, and incomes for Iowa.

We will be announcing the rest of the details of our Iowa Strong plan soon.

Additionally, I would like to encourage Iowa students to apply for the 2013 Legislative Page Program.

Each year the Iowa House of Representatives, the Iowa Senate and Legislative Services Agency (LSA) employ Iowa high school juniors and seniors to serve as Pages for the legislative session which begins in January.

Duties of the Senate Pages, House Pages, and LSA Pages vary slightly but generally Pages provide invaluable assistance to Representatives or Senators and staff by assisting with tasks such as the switchboard, delivering messages, distributing legislation, assisting committee chairpersons or sorting amendments. Pages are paid and many schools grant credit for a student’s work in the Legislature.

The application for the 2013 Legislative Page Program is due no later than Friday, October 5, 2012. To receive more information or an application, visit: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/Agencies/pageInfo.aspx

As always, feel free to contact me at (515) 281-3521 or kraig.paulsen@legis.state.ia.us if you have any questions or concerns

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Dansette