The Rozenboom Report by Senator Ken Rozenboom – April 29, 2019

Sen. Ken Rozenboom (R-District 40)

Sen. Ken Rozenboom (R-District 40)

by Sen. Ken Rozenboom

The 2019 legislative session lasted 103 days before it ended Saturday, April 27, a week ahead of schedule. I ran for office to make our state and country a better place for our kids and our grandkids – a place where they can grow up, go to school, succeed in a career they enjoy, and spend a lifetime in a place we all love and are proud to call home…this place called Iowa.

In his opening comments in January, Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver encouraged us to challenge the status quo and to enact meaningful policies that would allow the next generations to flourish for decades to come. He urged us to maintain the reform-minded perspective of 2017 and 2018. I think we did that in 2019. Together, we set an agenda to strengthen and grow our economy, while allowing Iowans to keep more of their hard-earned money.

These policies are already yielding an abundance of positive results. Iowa ranks as one of the top states for jobs, high school graduation and concurrent enrollment. We continue to lead the nation in the production of a number of agricultural commodities. Our unemployment rate is the lowest in the country. Last year, Iowa was rated the #1 state in America by US News and World Report. Achieving that top ranking is not easy – but staying can be even more challenging.

In 2019, we provided an additional $89 million in sustainable funding for our K-12 schools, and we extended the sales tax dedicated to help support school infrastructure costs. We passed four welfare reform bills to make those programs run more effectively and efficiently. These bills help ensure that assistance is limited to those truly in need, encourage people to join the workforce, and will save taxpayers millions of dollars. We passed a bill to protect Iowa businesses and workers, and promote better hiring practices through the use of E-Verify. We created a children’s mental health system in our state. We passed legislation to allow our state’s farmers to grow hemp as another crop, and we leveled the playing field for utility customers. We passed a bill to protect Iowa’s agriculture industry, and a bill to protect the First Amendment rights of students at our public universities.

One of the chief concerns we hear when talking with Iowans over the last couple years is property taxes. And they have reason to be concerned; property tax collections have more than doubled in the last 18 years, with increases exceeding more than $3 billion across Iowa. Meanwhile, during that same time frame, Iowans incomes have risen only 43 percent.

So, in addition to passing income tax relief for Iowa’s families during the 2018 legislative session, in 2019 we passed property tax reform to control increases for those who have had their property assessments rise year after year. The new legislation will improve transparency and hold public officials more accountable for increases in property taxes.

We approved a budget that is conservative, responsible, and sustainable. It funds the essential functions of our state, like education and public safety, and provides the state a cushion to respond to the massive flooding in western Iowa. Responsible budgeting always has been important to our Republican caucus, just as it is important to every person in our state.

Our work doesn’t stop when we leave the Capitol. There are many issues we will work on next year and continue to forge a path to help grow Iowa’s economy, retain our young people and attract new citizens to our state.

Thank you for the honor of representing District 40 in the Iowa Senate. And thank you to all who have sent e-mails, called, or visited with me at the Capitol. Your input is essential! During the interim I will be attending many events within the district. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Posted by on Apr 30 2019. 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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