Instead of directing more money to testing and contact tracing, paid sick leave for essential workers, food assistance, childcare subsidies, additional money for rent assistance, unemployment insurance, utility assistance, providing PPE to healthcare workers and educators, and to help schools prepare for the winter season — and myriad of other uses — Governor Reynolds is using the CARES Act money as a means to fund pet projects and make Iowa’s budget appear flush with excess funds.
Key Democratic legislators are calling for investigations into reports that Governor Reynolds diverted nearly $450,000 to pay her staff instead of using the funds for COVID-19 relief efforts.
A quick list of the good, the bad and the ugly bills of the 2020 legislative session.
The Iowa Legislature has resumed the 2020 session. Over the next two weeks, I hope we will:
** Pass a balanced budget based on the latest revenue estimates.
** Fight for the needs of Iowans, businesses and communities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
** Push for laws to address racial inequities in Iowa.
Based on the updated revenue estimates, the Governor and legislators must strategically use available resources– including federal funds and the state’s rainy-day fund – to protect key priorities: education, health care and employment security.
In 2010, voters approved a Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund to be filled with a portion of state sales tax if the sales tax was increased. Governor Reynolds now wants to raise the sales tax, but is reneging on the agreed-to amount for natural resources and recreation.
Iowans deserve a tax system that works for all of us. Unfortunately, many Iowans believe the current system is rigged against them. The proposed tax changes Governor Reynolds floated in her Condition of the State Address are a good example of why.
The Governor should require repayment of taxpayer money, and hold responsible parties accountable for their poor judgment.
This borrowing scheme follows the failure over the last decade to adequately fund our public universities.