It’s great to be back in the Capitol for another legislative session serving as your representative. This week kicked off the 2022 Legislative Session and so far, I think we’re off to a great start.
The first week back is always more ceremonial than committee work heavy. We heard a number of speeches from various state leaders about what we want to get done legislatively this session.
I kicked things off in the Iowa House with a speech of my own on Monday. On Tuesday, the House and Senate both gathered in the House chamber to hear the Condition of the State from our Governor. I was extremely pleased that much of what we heard from the Governor in her speech as far as the agenda she’d like to see from the Legislature this year sounded a lot like what we as House Republicans have been talking about as well.
Cutting Taxes for Every Iowan
The Governor and I both talked in our speeches about one of our biggest priorities for the year – cutting taxes for all Iowans. Because of responsible budgeting practices, and the decision to keep the state as open as possible, Iowa’s economy is strong. We have a healthy ending balance, our reserves are full, and the Taxpayer Relief Fund has reached a whopping $1 billion dollars. Last session, we sped up the largest tax cut in state history, while allocating record investments in Iowans’ priorities, such as Public Safety, Corrections, Broadband, and Education.
This is something every Iowan can understand. The state is taking in more in tax money than it needs. And Iowans deserve their money back. We must return this money to the Iowa taxpayer. Decisions made by the Biden Administration have led to record-high inflation that is hurting Iowa families. Iowans need relief now.
The Governor is proposing a flat tax of 4% for all Iowans, no matter their income. In her speech, she said this will save taxpayers $500,000 in the first year and $1,300 a year by full implementation in 2026. This is on top of the $1,000 tax cut we already passed in 2018. Iowa House Republicans are ready to vet the Governor’s bill and take a look at the numbers. The Iowa House Republican caucus has a reputation of being responsible and forward-looking while delivering sustainable tax relief. That won’t stop in 2022.
Addressing the Workforce Shortage
We also heard a lot from the Governor on the need to address the workforce shortage in Iowa. Iowa’s economy has 64,000 unemployed Iowans and 110,000 unfilled jobs. An economy that is creating jobs is always a great sign, but now we need to channel more of our efforts toward filling the jobs we already have open.
There won’t be one single bill that solves this issue. It needs to be a holistic approach. The Governor brought many ideas to the table to address the workforce shortage in Iowa in her Condition of the State address. We will vet all of her proposals, and bring our own to the table, to address this issue from all angles.
We can’t solve a workforce shortage without increasing access to quality, affordable child care. Iowa House Republicans have taken the lead on this issue and we’ve had some meaningful policies passed and signed by the Governor. But there’s more we can do and it will remain a priority this session.