Greetings from Capitol Hill
Governor Reynolds Condition of the State Address
On Tuesday January 9, Governor Reynolds presented her first Condition of the State Address. Governor Reynolds replaced the former Governor Branstad when he was selected to become the American Ambassador for China. Gov. Reynolds applauded the 2017 Legislature in her address for balancing the state budget, committing $735 million more in education since 2011, reforming collective bargaining and workers’ compensation laws, protecting the ballot box by enforcing voter ID laws, and protecting life by ending late-term abortions. Reynolds also shared that in the 2017 session, 2nd amendment rights were protected, taxpayers were saved from project labor costs, and farmers were fought for by enabling a Renewable Fuel Standard. In this session, Reynolds shared how she has hopes that the first bill she signs as Governor of the State of Iowa is the water quality bill. As said in her speech, she will also be proposing a tax reform package that will aim at lowering rates, modernizing the tax code, eliminating federal deductibility, and provides financial relief for middle class families.
As a part of her address, Governor Reynolds presented her budget recommendations and additions for the next year (budget year 2018).
Governor Reynolds proposed an additional $54 million to schools, included $500,000 in the budget to expand work-based learning, and included an additional $1 million to expand Iowa’s current apprenticeship program.
With the steps she is taking to further Iowa education, Governor Reynolds goal is to have 70% of Iowa workers acquiring the skills required for a great job by the year 2025.
My Goals for the 2018 Legislative Session
One of my goals for the 2018 Legislative Session is to pass supplemental state aid within the first 30 days. I would like to quickly pass the water quality legislation in order to help constituents, as well as, the whole state of Iowa. With the new federal tax changes that have been implemented, state taxes have gone up due to deducting less federal taxes on our state tax forms. With this, I would like to make sure that state taxes allow the federal tax deduction option in order to keep more money in Iowans pockets, or at least reduce the rate at which we pay taxes. My basic principle is to not pay a tax on a tax. In regards to the highly popular bottle and can bill, I will not vote to repeal this bill, but I do believe we need to find more efficient and less costly ways of recycling.
A few of my other interests that I hope to pass legislation on this session include protecting the unborn, growing our schools resources, and balancing the budget.
As we start another legislative year, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation for your support and for allowing me the opportunity to serve you at the Capitol. I am always available if you have any questions or comments. Take care.
Sincerely, Rep. Tedd Gassman
Rep. Gassman is on the Economic Growth, Environmental Protection, Education, and Local Government Committees, and serves as the Vice Chair of the Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee. His district includes Emmet County, Winnebago County, and the northern parts of Kossuth County, including Algona. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org