Earlier this week my colleagues in the Iowa House successfully defeated the prevailing wage price fixing legislation after nearly 70 hours of weekend voting shenanigans ensued and Iowans from every community in the state spoke out in strong opposition. This bill, like many other anti-job union boss bills, would cripple Iowa employers and soak property taxpayers with even higher taxes. Speaking to reporters and admitting this legislative defeat was a damaging blow to the union boss agenda, the Speaker of the House spoke of Governor Culver’s involvement in trying to push this bill saying, “He did give 100 percent on this one.”
While the governor was willing to give 100 percent to an effort backed by some of his biggest special interest campaign donors that would cripple Iowa’s employers and businesses, raise property taxes and harm Iowa jobs, I pledge to continue to give 100 percent toward the priorities that Iowans care about like spurring economic growth and job creation, protecting Iowa’s rural schools, keeping government limited and living within its means, making health care more affordable and defending the personal freedoms of Iowans so they can flourish and be prosperous in our communities. Iowans should know that during these challenging economic times, I will continue to be the voice of fiscal responsibility and good government and act with disciplined leadership and fiscal integrity.
While the House was able to defeat the price fixing prevailing wage legislation this week, the governor and his party members in the Legislature are still strongly supportive of it and may try again yet this session. The doctor shopping legislation is still alive in the Senate and could be debated at any time. This bill, if enacted, will deeply diminish the quality of health care for Iowa workers while drastically increasing workers compensation insurance premiums for employers and businesses. In all, this bill will mean fewer jobs for Iowans at a time when there are already approximately 80,000 Iowans out of work.
Governor Culver and his legislative counterparts could also push through their forced unionization bill which will allow union bosses to garnish the wages of Iowa workers in order to pay for lobbyists and further expand the union agenda. Iowa workers and families will not only lose freedom, they will lose hundreds of dollars that could otherwise go towards stimulating the economy through the buying of groceries, the fueling up of the family vehicle, the paying of heating bills or the purchasing of necessary medications. They are also intent on bringing forward a collective bargaining bill that will gut the authority of local governments like school boards, city councils and county boards of supervisors while at the same time adding millions of dollars of new property taxes onto already heavily burdened property owners.
The governor and his legislative counterparts in the House and Senate also made it crystal clear that they are very interested in eliminating federal deductibility which would essentially mean that Iowans will be taxed twice. As it stands now, Iowans are able to deduct their federal tax liability from their state tax liability in order to greatly reduce their overall state income tax burden. They want to eliminate this deduction so taxpayers have to pay more in state income taxes and therefore have more money to spend on growing government and paying for more pork projects. Estimates suggest it could cost taxpayers as much as $700 million dollars in additional taxes paid to state government. Eliminating this will put an even greater strain on lower-income and middle-income taxpayers and take money out of the pocketbooks Iowans who would otherwise use those hard earned dollars to stimulate their local economies through the purchase of daily necessities.
Since the state budget is already facing hundreds of millions in self inflicted budget deficits, eliminating federal deductibility and therefore raising taxes on Iowa families could be a way for the governor and his party legislative members to fill the gaping budgetary hole they’ve created after two years of ineffectual fiscal stewardship. However, Governor Culver, during his annual Condition of the State address, made it clear that he would not raise taxes to balance the state’s budget. If they were to follow through with his plan, Governor Culver would be breaking a vow he made to three million Iowans just weeks ago.
Beyond the upcoming budget battles, the possibility of a major tax increase as a result of the elimination of federal deductibility, and the looming anti-job union boss labor bills, there is also a proposal that has moved out of committee that would shrink Iowa’s role in future presidential elections to near irrelevancy. This proposal pushed by the majority party would mean that our state would no longer award our electoral votes solely based on who wins the popular vote in Iowa but instead on who wins the national popular vote. Under this proposal, a candidate could lose in Iowa but win the national popular vote and still get Iowa’s electoral votes. Iowa will be reduced to flyover country as candidates will instead campaign in more heavily populated metropolitan areas. As a result, our voters will be ignored and our issues will be swept aside.
Though times may be difficult now, I am confident and optimistic that Iowa can rebound better than ever because I know we have the best educated, hardest working and most dynamic workforce found anywhere. If we stick to the principles and traditions that has made this state a destination for millions to happily call home, I am convinced that our brightest days will be yet to come.
As always, I welcome hearing from my constituents and can be reached by phone at 515-281-3560 or by e-mail at email@example.com