|Greetings from the Statehouse, |
It’s official – the legislative referees have concluded that the first year of the 89th General Assembly is now sine die. In light of the pandemic, social distancing, and the challenges that 2020 brought us, the 2021 Legislative Session was one for the record books. Over the last 129 days, I am proud to say that I had an impeccable voting record – not missing a single vote this year. In this last newsletter of the year I wanted to highlight important issues that remained forefront prior to closing out session and some bill updates that I’ve previously promised you.
During the 2021 legislative session, the legislature advanced two constitutional amendments: HJR 4, which adds the Second Amendment to the Iowa Constitution, and HJR 5, which adds the Life Amendment to the Iowa Constitution. I have always been a strong supporter of our second amendment rights, which is why I voted for HJR 4. You will now be able to vote on HJR 4 in the 2022 general election. As a pro-life legislator, I was glad to vote ‘yes’ on HJR 5, but my vote does not count as much as yours will in 2024.
At the beginning of the session, I made a commitment that we needed to get our students back into the classroom. The legislature accomplished this promise with HF 229. In passing this bill, the House made important first steps at getting our schools back to in-person learning and getting Iowa on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the most important issues facing our state is the lack of broadband in our communities. With guidance from Governor Reynolds and the direction of the Iowa House, we invested 100 million dollars into infrastructure to connect Iowans to the technology of the 21st Century.
This week, the Iowa Senate passed HF 234, creating an opportunity for Iowans 65 and older to obtain a lifetime trout fishing license. As a life-long trout fisherman I was excited for this opportunity for Iowans to be active, get outdoors, and enjoy mother nature. For more information on the lifetime trout fishing license or how you can get outdoors, visit gooutdoorsiowa.com.
In the last week of session, the legislature also raised the tax credit on STOs to 75% of the amount of voluntary cash or noncash contributions made by the taxpayer. For 2021 the total approved tax credit is $15 million dollars – in 2022 and beyond the approved tax credit will be $20 million dollars.
As I round out this newsletter, I am pleased that the Legislature was able to pass responsible tax cuts this session. By eliminating the inheritance tax in a five-year phaseout and removing the triggers, we are helping citizens now and in the future by removing the tax burden within the state.
I want to be clear – I could not have done this without your support. With your help, we were able to set up the next generation of Iowans for future success with intrastate improvements, prudent tax cuts, and most importantly a responsibly balanced budget. As I have mentioned before, it is a privilege to serve the citizens of House District and the strong communities within Plymouth and Woodbury counties. During the interim, I will continue to work so that we will be able to hit the ground running in January.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out to me.