4 Takeaways Going into the Week at the Legislature

Mar 14, 2016

More bills have reached deadlines for continuing in the Iowa legislature. IPR’s Morning Edition Host Clay Masters got the latest from Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell on what to expect going into the week of March 14 at the statehouse.

1.     The House and Senate have agreed to adopt a tax break for one year. Last week the Republican House and Democratic Senate announced they’d reached agreements on tax coupling, that is the state/federal tax changes couple with federal tax. It’s a $100 million hit to the state treasury and “Democrats wanted something in return,” IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell says. “So the agreement scales back a manufacturing tax that Democrats had opposed.

2.     Don’t expect much more social justice reform this session. Governor Branstad signed a bill into law that will keep court records confidential in most juvenile cases. But legislation to ban the box, which would keep the question off of employment employment forms about whether you have a criminal record, and a bill to ban racial profiling did not clear a deadline to remain eligible for debate.

3.     Governor’s healthcare and water quality priorities remain alive. The governor’s Medicaid privatization plan survived Democratic opposition and won approval from the feds. “That’s a biggie,” Russell says. “(But) it’s going to be a heavy lift to get his other initiative passed to divert part of a school infrastructure tax to water quality.”

4.     Budget proposals may have to be scaled back. The Revenue Estimating Conference meets this week to update their predictions for state tax receipts. Russell says they might revise those estimates downward.