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Colleagues, the 2024 Regular Session of the 90th General Assembly has been dynamic. We began just days after the horrendous events in Perry, shifting to address the complexities of our special education system, then tackling the problems associated with President Biden’s inflation and open border, and continued implementing measures promoting smaller, more efficient government.

We’ve learned a lot from the tragedy in Perry. First, Iowa is not insulated from acts of terror in our schools. However, we also learned that Iowa schools have taken great measures to prevent and prepare for these situations. I am proud of the fact that we took action to provide greater supports to schools to prevent acts of violence. With the passage of House File 2652 and House File 2586, we gave schools additional tools to address school security and more flexibility with the use of their funding to keep our children safe.

Much of the 2024 session was again focused on education reform. When I became the Senate Education Chair in 2017, I addressed the topic of Area Education Agency reform with the AEA chief administrators. They took little action to enact meaningful reform, and our special education students continued to fall further behind their peers. After seven more years of business as usual, Governor Reynolds prioritized this reform initiative. House File 2612 brings greater transparency and restores local school district control over AEA funding. Our local schools now have the ability to assess the services being provided by the AEAs and the power to make changes to get better outcomes for our students.

As Iowa families have dealt with the failures of the Biden Administration, Iowa Senate Republicans have done our part to address these issues. Senate File 2340 empowers Iowa law enforcement officers to deport people who are here illegally. If President Biden refuses to enforce our immigration laws, we will. Besides the open southern border, Iowans continue to be threatened by the actions of communist China in the absence of federal action. One of the most dangerous of these threats has been the purchase of Iowa farmland. Senate File 2204 gives Iowa some of the strongest laws in the country regarding foreign land ownership.  Senate Republicans have been and will continue to defend our state against these foreign adversaries.

The federal government continues to grow and spend our tax dollars at an alarming pace, fueling President Biden’s inflation. Iowa Senate Republicans have remained committed to smaller, more efficient government. This commitment remains clear with the passage of Senate File 2442. This bill accelerates Iowa’s income tax cuts to implement a 3.8% flat tax beginning in January 2025, the 6th lowest rate in the country. To protect Iowans from future tax hikes, Senate Joint Resolution 2004 and House Joint Resolution 2006 were both passed, taking the first steps to implement taxpayer protections in the state constitution. These constitutional amendments, respectively, require a flat tax for state income tax and a two-thirds majority of the legislature to enact income tax increases. Allowing Iowans to keep more of their hard-earned dollars helps reduce the effects of President Biden’s inflation, and guarantees smaller, more efficient state government.

The 2024 session has been another conservative success story for Iowa. Senate Republicans have pledged to work towards making Iowa the best place to live, work, and raise a family. This session shows we have continued our efforts, and we will keep doing so in a responsible and sustainable manner.

Author: Amy Sinclair


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