Session winds down
There's a sure sign that the Iowa Legislature is winding down and the sure sign is that joint budget targets were announced yesterday. The agreed-to budget plan spends less next year than we are spending this current year. Currently, the state is slated to spend nearly $7.26 billion for the fiscal year that ends June 30 of this year.
The budget targets that were released will appropriate $7.24 billion. The bill takes a responsible and cautious approach to spending in recognition that revenue may continue to come in less than anticipated, while at the same time fully repaying the money that was taken out of the reserves to offset the reduced revenue from the March Revenue Estimating Committee.
This budget plan makes additional investments in key priorities like K-12 education and provides resources for essential functions of government. House Republicans rejected over $1 billion in additional spending plans offered by Democrats. Iowans can count on House Republicans to fight against reckless government spending ideas.
The budget plan includes fully funding the additional $40 million that was passed earlier this session for K-12 schools. The budget plan also includes an initial payment to repay the Cash Reserve Account in FY18 and additional payments will be made in FY19.
PROTECTING THE UNBORN LIFE
This week the House passed the most substantial piece of legislation to protect the unborn in Iowa history. The bill bans late term abortions after five months, similar to other states. The bill does allow for exceptions in situations where the life or the health of the mother is threatened. The bill also does NOT ban birth control, contrary to Democrats’ misleading claims.
The ban on late term abortions is a huge step forward. House Republicans will continue efforts to protect life and defend the unborn.
LEGISLATIVE HEALTH CARE
This week the House Republicans sent a bill to the governor that requires legislators to contribute more toward their health insurance premiums. This is something the House Republicans have attempted to do for many years.
Prior to this week, House Republicans had voted 11 times since 2009 to require legislators to contribute more toward their health insurance premiums. Each time the House passed this, the Senate, controlled by Democrats, chose to kill the bill.
Legislators have always been following the law, contrary to false reporting by the Des Moines Register. This intrepid reporter seemed to have no problem with spreading fake news and that is wrong. To sum it up: The Des Moines Register, if you are keeping track, has had 77 editorials that attack Republicans in the last 94 days.
I am honored to represent you and northwest Iowa in Des Moines. I am blessed and honored to be able to do so. I will continue to bring our northwest Iowa values to the concrete of Des Moines. Please feel free to contact me about your thoughts and issues that may be affecting you.