The view from here

The Iowa Legislative session is about half over with the completion of funnel week. It is a busy time when many are studying bills at all hours of the day and night before attending committee meetings to decide which ideas will advance to debate on the floor.  In between these intense moments, I was able to visit with various groups. High school students from Garner, Britt, and the Winnebago coalition lobbied for Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention during Substance Abuse Day on the Hill. These kids did a great job of researching and of presenting the material to me. They encouraged me not to lower the bar for the legalization of marijuana in Iowa, but to let the FDA be the gatekeeper for all medicines.
There were also Farm Bureau members from Wright and Kossuth counties who visited me about coupling with Federal tax policy and Section 179.  Section 179 is an important tool for Iowa farmers and businesses that is being held up by Senate Democrats. Making the decision not to couple after the end of the year means purchases made with the expectation of coupling are now costing more state tax than was anticipated at the time of purchase.  I favor making coupling and Section 179 permanent so tax planning can be certain.
I also had visitors from the district representing the RECs, Nurses, Community Colleges, Lutheran Advocates and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)projects. The rotunda at the Capitol was filled with students 6th through 12 grades showing off their robotics and Lego-robotics projects excited about education that engages hands as well as head. I feel great hope for the future when I see these kids. The families represented have much to be proud of.  It is my prayer that we hand them a society in which they can build and be creative, not one that takes away incentive.
A disappointing moment for me was when a Democrat senator spoke on the floor to say how terrible it is that businesses get tax breaks for research and development.  He doesn’t understand how many jobs in Iowa depend on that research.  The companies he complained about employ over 20,000 people in Iowa who are paid well and provide opportunity to our next generation. One of my colleagues said success should not be punished but rather encouraged. These are the companies that provide jobs and the economic resources to support the education system the first senator claims would suffer tremendously because of these deductions. The Democrat philosophy says big companies steal value from their employees while the Republicans believe in giving incentives to inspire growth and opportunities that benefit everyone, not just the owner.
We should encourage folks (through research and development tax breaks) whose dreams stimulate and inspire ideas that then become reality through an invention or business model. Projects of this kind don’t happen by wishful thinking. As Colin Powell said, “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination and hard work.” Let us allow an environment of dreaming and creativity to motivate people to use their unique talents and gifts to develop and improve products and services.
“Technology gives us power, but it does not and cannot tell us how to use that power. Thanks to technology, we can instantly communicate across the world, but it still doesn’t help us know what to say.”
Jonathan Sacks
I will be in Estherville on March 5 at the Farm and Home Show at the Regional Wellness Center at 10 A.M. along with Representative Gassman.  I hope to see some of you there or contact me at  or call 641-430-0424.

Lake Mills Graphic

204 N. Mill Street
Lake Mills, IA 50450

Office Number: (641) 592-4222
Fax Number: (641) 592-6397

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