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Rep. Prichard: Local governments will raise property taxes due to lack of backfill from state

This news story was published on April 8, 2018.
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The following is a legislative update from Rep. Todd Prichard of Charles City:

Rep. Prichard met with Jill DeYoung and
Dexter Golinghorst on March 28
from the University of Iowa’s
College of Law at the Iowa Capitol.

Since the last time I wrote, the budget de-appropriation bill was introduced, passed and signed into legislation by the governor. This is the second year in a row that the legislature and governor have made cuts to the current year’s budget more than halfway through the fiscal year. In other words, this marks two years of mismanagement of our state by the Governor’s administration. This failure is obvious when state agencies and educational institutions do not have consistent budgets, and when revenue runs short despite a strong economy and low unemployment.

The $34 million cut from the current budget places further burden on state universities, community colleges, Human Services, Corrections (prisons), Public Safety and the Judiciary. The result of yet another year of cuts will hurt working Iowans, particularly the young and the elderly. The Board of Regents is already proposing large tuition hikes on students to cover costs. Community colleges, the state’s best and most responsive engine of job training, will have to make tough decisions. Cuts to Human Services means more cuts to Medicaid and rural health care providers. The Department of Corrections is already dangerously underfunded, the Judiciary has had to implement hiring freezes, while the state patrol is woefully understaffed. In short, our actions have tremendous consequences on Iowans from every corner of this state.

In working with and listening to the people in my district, I know that there are certain expectations of our state government. We expect strong schools, compassionate and responsive human services, a well-run court system and a commitment to law enforcement. Instead, it appears that we have a majority party in Des Moines who wants to cut services for no other reason than to brag to voters in the next election that they “cut government.”

Likely campaign ads this election season will portray those cuts in a positive light. Don’t believe it. This state is cutting police officers, prison staff and social service workers. This budget de-appropriation will result in more withholdings of payments to private medical providers. Schools across the state will have to rely on budget guarantee because of insufficient funding. Recent attacks on correctional officers highlight the peril those workers are placed in when budgets don’t allow for sufficient staffing. The Department of Human Services is short nearly 1300 workers. These are the people who perform welfare checks on the elderly and children, and who work with families with histories of abuse and drugs.

This is not the Iowa I want for my three children. When my wife and I decided to raise our kids here, we did not stay for declining school performance, inadequate public safety and cruel treatment of children, the elderly and the disabled. This, however, is the direction the current majority party leadership is taking our state. It is time we look to find ways that fund our state’s institutions without burdening working Iowans and local governments.

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3 Responses to Rep. Prichard: Local governments will raise property taxes due to lack of backfill from state

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 10, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Property taxes NEED to be raised to pay for public servants raises and benefits – they no longer work for us – WE work for them,

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 9, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Cut the FAT ! All we see is a 5+ percent increase every year for public servant wages and their pet projects. – Something the private sector is not privileged or lucky enough to afford in this 10 year old horseshit economy because of our horrible trade agreements with other countries that have stolen American wealth – not without help from the democrap party and their sugar daddies who pay them large amounts of money to rob hard working American taxpayers _ CROOKS !

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 9, 2018 at 12:35 am

    lets start cutting the welfare, the man and wife who have 10 kids so that they receive maximum welfare benefits. they are able to work like all the rest of us do but are just to lazy to do it when they can sit home and puff on the weed and get paid to do it. if they get state, county or city welfare, then lets put them to work cleaning ditches, city parks, shoveling snow and whatever else a “non-skilled” person can do