Sheets Snapshot – April 5, 2018

Rep. Larry Sheets (R) (photo by Don Hubbard)

by Larry Sheets

Iowa GOP leaders ‘very close’ to setting budget targets but issues on how to deliver tax relief and fund priorities in a sustainable way are standing in the way of starting the process for shutting down the current session. This work is closely tied to intended tax cuts for 2019. The House continues to work off the governor’s tax-cut proposal, which carried a smaller price tag than the Senate-passed version. We’re getting close on setting fiscal 2019 spending targets. An argument is being made that because the federal tax cut reduced the amount of money taken by the feds, Iowa tax payers will pay more State tax because of the federal deductibility in our tax code. Beware, this is an argument to remove the federal deductibility, and will result in a “Tax on Tax.” Claims are that the rates will be reduced to prevent a State Tax increase. “Just because I’m paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me!”

A bill that would reduce a so-called “backfill” of money that goes annually to cities, counties and school districts is advancing. The payments were part of a 2013 law that cut property taxes in Iowa. It replaces reduced commercial and industrial property valuation. Rep. Pat Grassley, says the state can’t afford the payments, which are capped at $152 million annually. A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate. Senate President Charles Schneider says the payments weren’t supposed to last indefinitely.

The Iowa House voted 55-45 in favor of S.F. 481. It requires law enforcement agencies to comply with federal immigration detainer requests for people in their custody. In addition, the legislation would prohibit local governments from discouraging their enforcement officers or others from activities related to enforcing immigration laws. State tax dollars would be withheld from cities and counties with “sanctuary” policies for immigrants under threat of deportation.

The Iowa House Government Oversight Committee is launching an investigation into whether pharmacy benefits managers are overcharging public entities, including the state Medicaid program. Similar investigations in other states are finding the millions of dollars of overcharges. Fraudulent dealings with taxpayers’ dollars can’t be tolerated.

Dramshop Bill (SF 2169) passed 61-36. The original bill would have set a $175,000 maximum on damage awards from a bar or restaurant in a drunk driving case. The final version of the bill would let juries award an unlimited amount of money for “substantial or permanent” damages from a drunk driving accident.

The House voted 98-0 to approve House File 2338, which expands the issuance of temporary restricted licenses for people charged with operating while intoxicated when their blood alcohol levels are between 0.08 (the legal limit) and 0.1 percent. Those people could get a temporary driver’s license if they have an approve ignition interlock device on their vehicle. The device requires a driver to blow into a mouthpiece, and it prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking. The bill now goes to the governor.
House File 2253 requires competitive bidding for construction by a private party of property to be lease-purchased by government entities. This Bill guarantees the Tax payers’ money is spent carefully and openly without favoritism.

Many of us in the House await the floor vote on SF359, the so-called “Heartbeat Bill.” This bill would prevent abortions of convenience after the heartbeat of the baby is heard. There is an exception when the life of the mother is at stake. It also prevents the sale of baby body parts resulting from abortions.

Please remember to vote in the Primary election to insure you will have a candidate who represents you. There will be 16 new faces when the 2019 session of the Iowa Legislature convenes in January. They will replace,

• 12 Republicans and four Democrats in the House.
• In the Senate, two Republicans and three Democrats.

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Posted by on Apr 6 2018. Filed under Local News, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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