DES MOINES, Iowa — The gavel came down marking the beginning of the 89th General Assembly for the Iowa Legislature Monday morning.
Surplus, tax cuts and education were touched on in the Iowa House of Representatives. House Republicans outlined the workforce shortage in detail.
“64,000 unemployed Iowans and 110,000 unfilled jobs,” said Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley (R) from New Hartford. “In the economy always creating jobs is a great sign. Now I think it is time for us to channel our efforts towards filling the jobs we already have open.”
Grassley added that there was not one bill that would solve this issue right away, and that there would need to be a lot of creativity and cooperation to make a difference.
The Democratic House Minority Leader hit on specifics that businesses are facing as they attempt to hire workers.
“We see Iowan companies continuing to have ‘help wanted’ signs in their windows and they are pleading with us to do all we can to help them find workers,” said State Rep. Jennifer Konfrst (D) from Windsor Heights.
The surplus in the state general fund will be debated on for the foreseeable future, and the House Majority Leader generally outlined the task in front of them.
“We have to find a way to take that billion dollars that Iowans put in the state general fund and return it to them in a responsible way,” said State Rep. Matt Windschitl (R) from Missouri Valley. “There is going to be a lot of disagreements on how we are going to do that.”
While it is believed that tax cuts would stem from that surplus, the Democrats want to use some of those surplus dollars to fund infrastructure in the state.
“We should return to our deep history of strong public schools; we should make sure child care is both affordable and accessible,” said Konfrst “We should expand housing options in small towns, rural areas and cities.”
The House reconvenes at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.