2016 Session Highlights

During this tight budget year, Senate Democrats fought to maintain economic security for Iowa families by standing up for workers and investing in skills training, job creation and the educational opportunities from preschool through college. We hoped to accomplish more, but chose compromise over gridlock. We balanced the state budget in a fiscally responsible way. Iowa is expected to have a budget surplus of more than $75 million when this fiscal year ends on June 30. We also have more than $700 million in our reserve funds, the largest amount in state history; invested in training to help Iowans fill openings for good jobs at local businesses in need of skilled workers; committed to improving Iowa’s infrastructure, economy and job creation through incentives, tax credits, and programs that work with local businesses on technology commercialization, marketing and entrepreneurship; invested in higher education with more money for our state universities, community colleges and grants to help students attend Iowa’s private colleges; encouraged greater student achievement in our K-12 schools through investments in early reading initiatives and quality teaching; and continued our commitment to Iowa’s quality of life with investments in the environment, arts and culture, and recreational opportunities.

Jochum 2016 End of Session Remarks

In my opening remarks for the 2016 General Assembly, I posed a challenge to craft a fiscally responsible budget that was fair to all Iowans and that would help build an economy that works for everyone.  As the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone said, “We all do better, when we all do better.” Although Iowa’s […]

Read the full story >>

2016 Session Highlights

During this tight budget year, Senate Democrats fought to maintain economic security for Iowa families by standing up for workers and investing in skills training, job creation and the educational opportunities from preschool through college. We hoped to accomplish more, but chose compromise over gridlock. We balanced the state budget in a fiscally responsible way. Iowa is expected to have a budget surplus of more than $75 million when this fiscal year ends on June 30. We also have more than $700 million in our reserve funds, the largest amount in state history; invested in training to help Iowans fill openings for good jobs at local businesses in need of skilled workers; committed to improving Iowa’s infrastructure, economy and job creation through incentives, tax credits, and programs that work with local businesses on technology commercialization, marketing and entrepreneurship; invested in higher education with more money for our state universities, community colleges and grants to help students attend Iowa’s private colleges; encouraged greater student achievement in our K-12 schools through investments in early reading initiatives and quality teaching; and continued our commitment to Iowa’s quality of life with investments in the environment, arts and culture, and recreational opportunities.

Read the full story >>

Iowa Arts Council invites nominations for arts awards

Through June 6, the Iowa Arts Council is accepting nominations for arts awards recognizing individuals, organizations and businesses that have made a significant impact on the vitality of the arts in Iowa.   Learn more or submit nominations for the following awards at www.iowaartscouncil.slideroom.com: Collaboration & Partnership in the Arts Award – Recognizes those that […]

Read the full story >>

Notify Iowa One Call prior to digging

As the weather warms, many Iowans are beginning outdoor projects. Iowa law requires anyone digging or excavating to notify Iowa One Call, the free underground utilities locating service.   Homeowners, contractors and anyone planning to dig should call 811 or go to www.iowaonecall.com to let utilities know where they’ll be working. Underground facility locating professionals […]

Read the full story >>

Bird flu prompts stronger biosecurity in Iowa

Iowa plays an important role in feeding the world. That’s why last year’s bird flu was so troubling. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has described the outbreak of 2015 as the largest animal health emergency in U.S. history.   In Iowa, 31.5 million birds at 77 facilities in 18 counties were affected between April and […]

Read the full story >>

Good bills signed into law

The 2016 session is expected to adjourn soon. We are finalizing the state budget and other key priorities for working families. Many of the good things we’ve already approved are being signed into law, including: Peace of mind for deployed parents – Military members should be able to confidently serve our country without custody and […]

Read the full story >>

Older Posts:

  • Improved historic tax credits will revitalize more communities
  • Keeping vulnerable kids a priority
  • Many benefits from Iowa’s commitment to renewable energy
  • Finalizing a state budget that maintains commitments
  • Ragan: HHS Budget: Key Difference is Medicaid Oversight
  • Prevent work zone fatalities this construction season
  • Attracting more Iowans with our great quality of life
  • Preventing domestic violence & its consequences
  • April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
  •