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Legislative update from Rep. Sharon Steckman


This news story was published on April 9, 2018.
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The following is a legislative update from Rep. Sharon Steckman of Mason City:

Here we are again at the end of another week, with just six working days remaining before the deadline of April 17th, and we have still not seen any budget bills. We are told that the hold-up is that the majority party cannot agree on the particulars of the tax cut bill that they are determined to pass before tackling the 2019 budget.

In 2013, the legislature voted to decrease commercial property taxes and then promised that the state would backfill the lost revenue to cities, counties and schools. I voted against that bill because I knew that was a promise that would not be kept.

Now, just five years later, the majority party has offered a plan (HSB 678) to phase out or end the backfill. The House bill will scale back payments from $152 million to $25 million over several years. The Senate bill would end the payments within two years. These “backfill dollars” would facilitate the tax cut, but would, at the same time, cause cities, counties and schools to cut services and raise property taxes. Interestingly, despite our budget difficulties, the $125 million tax credit to businesses is not being touched.

Several hours were spent on Tuesday debating Senate File 481 which many of us described as “a solution in search of a problem”. The bill would punish “sanctuary cities, towns or other governmental entities” even though no such entities exist in Iowa. Funding would be withdrawn from any such entity if it did not follow federal guidelines seeking to deport anyone accused of being here without proper documentation. Even though all state and local law enforcement professionals were against this legislation, it passed.

Many of us are extremely concerned about the outlook for Iowa farmers. The looming “trade war” with China could seriously affect their incomes. Not only is this a very dangerous prospect for many Iowa families and businesses, but also it is very bad news for future state budgets.

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2 Responses to Legislative update from Rep. Sharon Steckman

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 9, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Wha, wha, wha, all she can do is tell us what she didn’t do, which is the way it has always been for the spend sisters. If they can’t spend they can’t do anything.

  2. Avatar

    Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

    April 9, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    ” Senate File 481 which many of us described as “a solution in search of a problem”. The bill would punish “sanctuary cities, towns or other governmental entities” even though no such entities exist in Iowa.”…….YET.

    This might not be a problem now, but without the legislation, I’m of the opinion there will be some cities in Iowa that would try to become a sanctuary city.