Vander Linden Update: February 14, 2013Iowa’s Secretary of State’s proposal to require voter identification, HSB 23, is making its way through State Government Committee with the hopes of requiring proof of identification and proof of residence in order to register to vote or to vote. Guaranteeing Iowa’s elections are fair and accurate is important.
The governor’s education reform bill passed through House Education Committee Wednesday, sending it to Ways and Means for consideration on Thursday. If the bill passes Ways and Means, it will move to Appropriations before it is ready for debate on the House floor.
Wednesday night the House passed HF 160, appropriating $11.6 million in funds to qualifying counties to assist with the transition to the redesigned mental health system. The funds are to be used to ensure the continuation of non-Medicaid funded services in 2013 and assist in the repayment of Medicaid bills to the state.
Our 99 percent expenditure limitation law has served us well. However, this law allows the Legislature and the governor to spend more than the state collects. To that end, House Republicans have proposed House Joint Resolution 2, which is a proposal to amend the state’s Constitution in the following ways:
• Limit the size of the annual state budget to 99 percent of ongoing revenue and send any ending balance to the Taxpayers Trust Fund, where it can be returned to Iowans.
• Require that any bonding receive two-thirds approval of both chambers of the Legislature.
• Require the Legislature approve any tax increase by a 60 percent vote of each chamber.
This legislation will make it more difficult for the Legislature to raise taxes, send the state into debt, or spend more money than the state takes in.