This week brought continued progress on the state budget and subcommittee work in the House. Every bill that is filed by a member of the House comes through my office and I assign the bill to a particular House committee. It is then the job of the committee chair to assign the bills to a subcommittee. This is where the process begins. If the subcommittee, usually made up of three members, passes the bill it is then eligible to be considered by the full committee. If the full committee passes the bill it is then eligible to be debated by the full House. Many times, the bill is amended, changed and perfected before it passes. If it receives enough votes to pass the House it is then sent to the Senate where it goes through the same process before it can reach the governor.
As bills begin to make their way through the process, I will continue to concentrate on bills that benefit ALL Iowans, rather than those that pit one group against another.
It is important that we to look for ways to return unused tax dollars to Iowans and to take less of your money to begin with. This includes:
- Focusing on those in the middle who have too much of their paychecks taken by the government.
- Offering a way to start the process of getting rid of the favoritism and rampant process of picking winners and losers every year. Let’s make the income tax system simpler, flatter, and fairer.
- The House Republicans have a bill that gives Iowans a choice when paying their income taxes, either the current system or a 4.5 percent flat tax with zero deductions.
- Specifies that the first $6,235 (or $12,450 for married couple) would be the standard deduction.
- Ensures any taxpayer who took advantage of the flat tax would not be eligible for any nonrefundable or refundable credit otherwise allowed in the current system
I will also work to increase educational opportunities for those seeking upward mobility.
- This includes focusing on creating opportunities for Iowans and determining how we can tear down obstacles for Iowa families. How can the Legislature create and expand opportunities for all I Iowa families to increase their incomes? How can we create and expand opportunities for more Iowans to become solidly middle class with income security?
- Additionally, the Legislature has increased resources at our community colleges by 22% or $34.5 million over the last three years. We need to make sure opportunities exist and then encourage hardworking Iowans to get the training needed to fill the technical jobs that are available.
This week I had the special privilege of meeting with internationally renowned opera singer and now educator/philanthropist Simon Estes. Mr. Estes sang God Bless America in the House on Wednesday (you can watch here http://coolice.legis.iowa.gov/Cool-ICE/default.asp?Category=House&Service=ArchiveDay&vid=857&iDate=2014-01-29)
Mr. Estes was in my office to discuss the arts in Iowa. He was joined by David Law who is the Co-Chairman of the Executive Board of the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education. Mr. Law is my constituent from Marion. It was a pleasure meeting with these two Iowans; I appreciate the work they do on behalf of the arts.
As always, feel free to contact my office at (515) 281-3521 or email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns.