The Dickey Dispatch – May 27th, 2022

by Senator Adrian Dickey

Sine Die. For the second year in a row, we have found ourselves at the Capitol longer than we were scheduled to be. At times it was challenging, however, it was done with resolve by the Republican Senate to stay true to our beliefs and to do what is right for Iowans.

In April, the House provided us a budget that was $72 million over the targeted budget that was proposed by Governor Reynolds and the Senate. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, last year we passed a $1 billion property and income tax relief plan. This year we followed that up with the largest income tax cut in the history of Iowa which will take a tax rate that was at 8.9 percent when our Republican trifecta started, down to a rate of 3.9 percent! These massive accomplishments are not possible without financial discipline and fortitude, something the House overlooked when they were $72 million over budget. Senate Republicans have continued to hold fast to the principles of spending conservatively and ensuring the state budget is responsible and sustainable for years to come. Every budget increase must be made carefully and in coordination with the broader goal of easing the tax burden on Iowans. Even though we were not being paid, staying in session for an extra month to ensure that a fiscally responsible budget got passed was one of the main reasons conservative Iowans elected me.

As I reflect on this past session, we moved some massive pieces of legislation. Any one of them would have been an indication of a successful session, however, to have passed all of them will certainly put this session and the 89th General Assembly as one of the most pro-growth, pro Iowan, pro-Republican years in Iowa History. Some of the key accomplishments this year were:

A path to a 3.9% flat income tax.
Elimination of retirement income taxes.
Passing a massive workforce bill.
Restructuring our unemployment benefits plan which included changing the length of benefits from 6 months to 4 months
Elimination of the open enrollment deadline at our schools. This will allow for open enrollment at any time throughout the year. Previously, parents had to make a decision to open-enroll their students by March 1 before the upcoming school year. In addition, a schools funding was locked in based on the enrollment on October 1. Because of this, some schools were making significant changes in their policies after these dates because it was harder for the student to leave or because the school was already set to get the funding for that student for the year. This change gives parents another option regardless of the time of year and hopefully stops some of the deceptive things that were taking place in some schools.
Ensuring that God-created girls will compete athletically only against other God-created girls in school sponsored sports.
Invested upwards to $81 million in the past year to address the states child care needs to allow more parents to return to work.
Fixing our 40-year-old bottle bill to ensure redemption centers receive more money, to ensure redemption options, and to allow the removal of these unsanitary cans out of grocery stores and other establishments where food is being prepared.

While the accomplishments this past session were staggering, there are a few things that are dear to me that I find displeasure in not getting resolved.

Not finding a fix to prevent the “Pella Pool,” the transgender restroom, and the school locker room issues for continuing to happen.
Tort reform.
Giving Iowa parents a greater ability to direct their children’s education needs. We have some great public schools in the state, unfortunately they do not always work for every student. We have experienced some school districts (and some, not all, but some teachers) where they have put political and social agendas above basic educational teaching. I am a huge proponent of public schools (my parents went to Pekin, I went to Pekin, and my children go to Pekin), however some urban public schools outside of this district have created a toxic environment for some students. This is not just concerning transgender issues, political ideologies, religious shaming, CRT divisive concepts, pornographic books, etc. that we hear about in the news, but some of these school districts are simply failing to deliver our students a quality education. Additionally I am bothered by the number of school districts that turn their head when it comes to bullying.

This week I was able to run HF 2411 on the Senate floor and saw its passage. If an employee loses a limb while at work, current law states that the employer only needs to pay for the original prosthetic device. Unfortunately, these prosthetic limbs wear out. In the rare case that such an event like this occurred and it was work related, I feel that the employer should be responsible for the replacement of these prosthetic devices for the life expectancy of the employee. The business community viewed this as being an anti-business bill, however, as the chairman of the Labor and Business Relations Committee, I felt that correcting this was just the right thing to do.
The highlight of the week was joining Governor Reynolds in a bill signing ceremony. SF 551 was the first bill that I wrote, and I have continued to work on it over the past 2 years. 92% of Iowa is protected by volunteer firefighters and contrary to tv shows, these brave men and women do not live in fire stations. They leave their homes, jobs, children’s ball games, etc. to drive to the emergency and legally are not allowed to respond going more than 55 MPH!
What is even crazier, there are many examples where speeding tickets have been issued as they responded to an emergency. In my 30 years as being a volunteer firefighter and having responded to hundreds and hundreds of emergency calls, I have never arrived to hear a victim say, “How did you get here so fast?” Rather, it is ALWAYS, “What took so long?” SF 551 allows firefighters, EMS providers, and law enforcement officers to respond to an emergency at a “reasonably elevated speed limit” and is legislation that will have a positive impact for many Iowans.
It has been a real honor to serve SD 41 for the past 2 years. I am up for re-election this fall and due to redistricting, my new district will be SD 44. All residents in Van Buren, Jefferson, and Keokuk Counties, in addition to most of Mahaska and half of Henry Counties, will see my name on the ballot this fall. I hope that helping write a property tax reduction and the largest reduction of income taxes in the history of Iowa, along with the fiscally conservative and pro-growth message that the Republican Senate has delivered the past 2 years, is enough for you to consider re-electing me. I hope my love for this district and the accomplishments I have highlighted over the last 2 years through the “Dickey Dispatch” are enough for your trust to vote for me once again.

Thank you!

Posted by on May 27 2022. Filed under 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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