House Speaker Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) said that the session will be remembered for finding common ground on a variety of issues:
“The hardworking taxpayers of Iowa were very clear with their expectations for us. Don’t spend more than we have, keep your promises, find common ground – and don’t be like Washington, D.C. I’m proud to say we have followed through and listened to Iowans. For the sixth consecutive year, we have held firm on our budgeting principles which have allowed us to follow through on our commitments. Iowa families and businesses abide by these same common sense principles every day, and government should be no different.”
House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights) added:
“Iowans can be proud of the hard work and accomplishments that we achieved this session. We continued efforts to give taxpayers a seat at the table and leave more money in their pockets where it belongs. We were also able to provide a sustainable increase to K-12 education, devoting 77% of all new revenue to our local schools. This session, we were able to make many of Iowans’ priorities a reality by working together and finding common ground.”
Highlights from the 86th General Assembly include:
Responsible Budgeting: For the sixth year in a row, the Iowa Legislature made a serious commitment to Iowans to not spend more than the state takes in.
- Increased Investment in Education: House Republicans continued support for K-12 as our state’s top priority by increasing funding by $135 million, which accounts for 77% of the state’s new revenue. Under Republican leadership in the Iowa House, yearly funding for education has increased by $660 million.
- Certainty for Iowa taxpayers: House Republicans championed and insisted on legislation that gave taxpayers a seat at the table this session. House Republicans pushed to prevent an unexpected $95 million tax increase on 177,000 Iowans and eliminated the unfair double tax on Iowa manufacturers.
- Unprecedented Oversight for Medicaid: House Republicans supported significant oversight efforts to monitor the state’s transition and ensure that consumers are protected, patient health and financial outcomes are monitored and transparent, and the integrity of our health care system remains.
- Continued efforts to combat human trafficking: House Republicans continued efforts to combat human trafficking in Iowa by establishing an office in the Department of Public Safety to oversee and coordinate efforts to combat human trafficking. Other efforts were passed that protect victims and penalize those who commit this horrific crime.
- Fighting Addiction and Preventing Overdoses: House Republicans took a stand to help those suffering from addiction by providing access to life-saving medication for victims of opioid overdoses.
- Criminal Justice Reforms: House Republicans worked to advance solutions that refocus criminal justice resources on dangerous criminals rather than nonviolent offenders. Legislation passed this session will allow judges discretion when sentencing non-violent offenders which hold these individuals accountable while they rejoin and become contributing members of society.
- Sustainable funding for water quality: House Republicans were able to find a long-term, dedicated source of funding for water quality projects across the state without raising taxes. While this did not become law, it has spurred an important conversation on how we can address improving our water and natural resources for future generations.
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