Legislative preview: Iowa lawmakers lay out their vision for the 2022 session

Politics

DES MOINES, Iowa — The main issues that Iowa legislative leaders discussed on Tuesday were tax cuts, workforce solutions, COVID-19 mandates and education. And with Republicans having the number advantage, anything the party deems as important could get sent to the governor’s desk.

On the idea of tax cuts, Republican leaders in both chambers made it clear that there would be some in the future once the session starts. The cutting of income taxes in its entirety was mentioned several times but most likely there would not be a clean cut of income tax this year.

“I find it amazing this argument that because a few people have talked about eliminating income taxes. Amy and I are Republicans, like of course we want to lower taxes. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone,” said State Representative Pat Grassley (R). 

Democratic legislative leaders also pushed back on the idea of cutting taxes for those who are on the higher end of the wealth spectrum. Democrats have fears that changes to the income tax would give them an even bigger break. 

“Everyone wants a tax cut. We think it is important for people to get those tax cuts are the people who have been left out of past cuts,” said State Representative Jennifer Konfrst (D). “For instance, if the income tax is eliminated, millionaires and billionaires would get a $325 million tax cut. I think they have had enough tax cuts.”

Another issue that was discussed on Tuesday was the idea of parental involvement in their child’s education. One of the main issues that the Chair of the Education Committee brought up was wanting to pass a bill of rights for parents involving education.

“My top priority is to talk about a parent’s bill of rights as related to their student’s education. Parents have the right to know what their kids are being taught. Parents have the right to access education materials,” said State Senator Amy Sinclair (R).

Once again, the Representative Konfrst pushed back on the issue, as banning books has been a hot topic of debate in several school districts in the state this past fall.

“Remembering that when you remove a book for one child in the library you remove it for every child in the library,” said Konfrst. “We need to be careful about banning books in schools.” 

The legislature also plans on discussing different ways to combat the workforce crisis currently happening in the state. There will be plenty to talk about come the first session of the year on Monday, January 10.

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