Governor Reynolds gave a great Condition of the State address on January 11. She made a number of recommendations. She also gave us her budget proposals for the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1.
One of her biggest proposals is to phase in a 4% flat individual income tax rate over 4 years. Our top rate now is 6.5%. She projects that the average family will save $1,300 by 2026.
The corporate income tax rate would phase in to 5.5% from the current top rate of 9.8%, if receipts meet targets.
Supplemental school aid for K-12, is increased by 2.5% or $154.1 million.
The Governor proposes an increase of $1.3 million to relieve Department of Human Resources caseloads.
There is a $71.2 million increase for mental health treatment.
The part of the budget that is funded in the budget subcommittee that I chair, would receive an increase of $8.5 million for the courts and an increase of $2.4 million for public safety.
She proposes 5,000 new childcare spots in addition to the 4,000 already created.
Governor Reynolds wants to create a new Workforce Development division to help unemployed Iowans obtain jobs. There are thousands of job openings all around the state.
She proposes a new registered apprenticeship program for nurses and another one for teachers.
Another proposal would give a bonus of $1,000 to teachers who continued teaching throughout the pandemic and who are still teaching. She proposes a similar program for first responders, prison guards and other public safety officials.
She wants to create a plan so that families with low and moderate incomes, and families with Individualized Education Programs, can send their children to a private school of their choice.
Keep in mind that these are the Governor’s recommendations. The Senate and House will discuss the upcoming budget and will pass the budget during this session. We have never enacted exactly what the Governor recommends but her recommendations are good starting points. I would expect that our final totals would be similar to her recommendations.