From Rep. Sharon Steckman –
Lawmakers are pledging cooperation to grow Iowa’s economy and strengthen the middle class when the 2013 legislative session begins on Monday, January 14.
Legislators have outlined key priorities this year to create jobs, build a highly-skilled workforce, and reduce commercial property taxes without shifting the burden to homeowners and farmers. The Governor is also encouraging legislators to address education reforms to make sure every student graduates with the skills necessary to land a good-paying job.
Legislators agree cooperation and finding common ground will be the key to making progress this year. Other issues likely to be discussed include worker training at community colleges, affordable college tuition, increasing the production and use of renewable energy, supporting Iowa small businesses with Made in Iowa legislation, and continuing reform of Iowa’s mental health system.
When the 2013 session begins, Iowa lawmakers have a strong economy. Due to budgeting practices in 2008 and ’09 the surplus for 2010 was $757.5 million and has been steadily increasing, with a state budget surplus for 2014 of over $1.5 billion. Iowa also has the lowest unemployment rate since 2008 at 4.9%.