Capitol Comments – 3/8/2018

This week the Iowa House passed many bills, few were bipartisan bills that will truly make a difference to the people of Iowa. However, one bill, HF 2422 provided resources to school districts to help identify and prevent suicide of students who suffered a concussion while playing contact sports. This bill not only received a bipartisan vote, but was truly bipartisan as both democrats and republicans worked together in drafting and debating the bill. Unfortunately, this level of bipartisanship is becoming increasingly rare at our Iowa state capitol.
One particularly concerning bill was HF 2372. HF 2372 mandates that any county over 60,000 people will be required to establish voter districts by utilizing our state Legislative Services Agency (LSA). Under current law, any county is able to set districts within the county rather than having “At-Large” County Supervisor Elections. Also under current law, if the county chooses to set districts, the County Auditor would create a commission to set those districts similar to the way that the State of Iowa does for the House and Senate; this bill would have the Legislative Services Agency draw district lines, not the committee commissioned by the County Auditor. This bill creates the opportunity to gerrymander districts by forcing districting where it is not warranted or deemed necessary by the people of that county which takes aware local control. It is quite obvious to me that this bill is a bad solution to a non-existent problem and essentially allows Iowa Republican supervisor candidates to have an increased likelihood of being elected.
Just to add insult to injury, the Iowa Republicans have yet to compromise on plan that would balance the budget. We have seen in the news, coming out of the Statehouse, that Republicans have proposed and passed some legislation in regards to tax reform, but none of which benefits the majority of Iowans. One of these bills slashes revenue in Iowa by nearly 200 million, but yet still allows 267 million in corporate tax giveaways. The Republicans may believe that they are balancing the budget this year, but they are not considering the future budgets as we continue to dip into reserve fund to balance budgets.

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