Implementing Republican priorities as session winds down
By Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink
When we set out our priorities at the beginning of the year, they included helping Iowa recover from the pandemic, passing tax relief for hard-working Iowans, and implementing responsible , conservative budgets for the state.
Last week, WalletHub reported Iowa ranked second in the country for fastest recovery following the pandemic. Iowa also has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and April general fund receipts were the highest in Iowa’s history for that month.
Iowa has more job openings than people looking for work. I have been contacting our federal representatives, sharing the concern I have heard from many of our local employers. Employers see it as counter-productive for the additional unemployment stipend given to unemployed workers. It is obvious this incentivizes workers to stay home instead of finding employment. Some experts have suggested the current unemployment benefits are equal to a salary of $25 per hour. This makes it nearly impossible for our small businesses to compete in the workforce.
This makes it even more important to pass legislation that will grow our state, expand the workforce, and help businesses find the qualified workers they need.
Iowa is in a great position to cut taxes and help taxpayers keep more of the money they earned. The Senate has passed several bills to remove the triggers put in place by the 2018 tax bill and give Iowans the tax relief they deserve. The Senate has also passed legislation to provide over $100 million in property tax relief to Iowa taxpayers and while also providing increased funding for mental health services.
Ideally, the legislature will conclude this session having accomplished these priorities for Iowans, this year, but we are still working out the details of a a compromise with the House of Representatives. We are not sure what the coming weeks will look like at the Capitol as we work towards adjournment for the year.
State Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink, R-Fort Dodge, represents Senate District 5.