The Rozenboom Report – March 2, 2018

The Rozenboom Report – March 2, 2018

The Rozenboom Report – March 2, 2018

by Ken Rozenboom

The discussion regarding traffic cameras has been around the capitol for many years. Last year, the Legislature passed a bill regulating the use of traffic cameras in Iowa. On Tuesday, the Senate passed a complete ban of traffic cameras in the state 31-18. Several senators (including me) changed their views from last year because of the aggressive collection procedures implemented by one Iowa city to collect 221,000 traffic camera fines.

Another bill we passed, Senate File 2341, requires students to pass a civics exam with a score of 60 percent or above in order to graduate from high school. Under the proposal, students would take the latest available civics exam administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Students will have the opportunity to take the exam once per school year at no cost. As we focus on STEM in our schools, it also important students are learning the history of our country, how government works and the basics of the United States Constitution. These principles will encourage students to get involved in the political process and be engaged citizens. The bill passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 38-12.

US News & World Report announced this week that Iowa is the new number one state as a result of our top ten rankings in health care (#3), opportunity (#4), education (#5), and quality of life (#9). The report also praised Iowa’s goal of bringing high-speed internet to every corner of the state, with Iowa’s #1 ranking for ultra-fast internet access.

This report only cements what Iowans have long known: Iowa is the greatest place in this country to live. It is a great place to raise a family, put down roots and a great place to work. Not just in our big cities, but also in our rural communities and small towns. This news is exciting for us as we work to make our state even better.

While we have many high rankings we should be proud of, Iowa was ranked much lower in tax burden (#39) and business environment (#46). We must continue to drive forward with policies that promote growth and opportunity in our state, or we will be overtaken by others.

To improve those low rankings on Wednesday Iowa Senate Republicans passed the Iowa Working Families Tax Relief Act. This bill is pro-growth tax relief. It provides working Iowans with an average of $1000 per year in tax relief. It cuts taxes by $1 billion. It treats taxpayers more fairly and simplifies the tax code.

Iowa has the fourth highest top individual tax rate in the country, higher than even Vermont and New Jersey. These rates inhibit growth because they hinder investment and discourage job creation. When Iowans have an incentive to work and invest, it attracts other employers and workers to come to Iowa because they can realize their dreams of owning a home, saving for college, and providing for their families.

Iowa also has the highest corporate tax rate in the country which discourages employers from looking at Iowa for future growth. Iowa Working Families Tax Relief Act significantly reduces the tax rate paid by employers, while also eliminating or reducing most of the tax credits for special interest groups.

Senate Republicans are committed to reducing the tax burden on all Iowans and creating a simple, fair tax policy. These policies help career opportunities flourish and Iowans realize their dreams. I ran for office in order to help lower the tax burden on working Iowans. Low taxes, reasonable regulations, and a safe environment allow people to work, save, spend, and enjoy the greatest state in the country.

Life matters to Senate Republicans. We have passed meaningful pro-life bills in the last two years since claiming the majority in 2016. This Wednesday marked the passage of another monumental bill as we sent Senate File 2281 to the House. A baby’s heart is the first organ to develop in their mother’s womb…….it is vital for a baby’s survival. When that heart, inside or outside the womb, stops beating it also marks the end of life.

Senate File 2281 would prohibit an abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be detected during an abdominal ultrasound test performed by a physician. The bill would direct the physician to inform the pregnant patient of the heartbeat, in writing, and explain an abortion cannot be performed. The pregnant woman would then sign an acknowledging receipt of the information. SF 2281 would prohibit an abortion unless, in the physician’s reasonable medical judgment, a medical emergency exists and would be necessary to protect the life of the mother.

Under the bill, the mother would not be criminally liable. It would charge a physician who knowingly and intentionally performs an abortion. Senate Republicans believe in the importance of life, and I am proud of this vote to protect the life of the unborn baby.

For further conversation about these and other issues please join me at Bridgeview in Ottumwa tomorrow morning, March 3, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.

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