Bob Kressig Newsletter April 20, 2023

Bob Kressig Newsletter

Greetings to you all,

Wednesday and Thursday were hectic days as there were some major bills being debated. One of those bills is HF 647 better known as the Child Labor Bill which is a companion bill to SF 542 which was just passed in Senate earlier this week. The bill would allow kids under 16 to work up to six hours a day, which is two more hours than currently allowed for that age group. This would be detrimental to the kids of Iowa and would only hurt our state.

On the other side of things, HF 718  is a bill which would guarantee that no homeowner or farmer will see their tax bill go up by more than
3%. This is one step closer in creating a fair tax system which would put money in the pockets of people, not political insiders. There are two different sides to the bills being debated for these two days. I’m hoping that we as a legislature will do what is best for the people of Iowa and not allow bills like HF 647 pass and to push forwards bills like HF 718.

On a lighter note, Wednesday was also exciting because it was Greater Des Moines Partnership Lunch on the Hill. I was able to grab a bite and talk to some interesting people. One of those individuals was Ray Warner, Industry Relations Manager for Aureon, who discussed with me a very important topic: Wi-Fi Accessibility. They are advocating for better access to Wi-Fi in Iowa. Iowa is full of areas that have little to no access to Wi-Fi preventing them from moving forward in the technological realm stunting their ability to grow alongside other Iowans. I fully support what they are doing and hope to see this problem alleviated.

Someone else I got to meet was the Iowa Cubbie Bear who was there to support the work that the Greater DSM Partnership was doing. This group has been helping to grow the Greater DSM Region and show individuals some of the beautiful parts of not only DSM, but Iowa as well. I had so much fun at this wonderful event, and I look forward to seeing them again next year.

Rep. Kressig and Ray Warner speak about the importance of Wi-Fi Accessibility

Rep. Kressig and Cubbie the Bear, Mascot of Cubbie the Bear

In the Statehouse Newsletter, you will find information about:

  • Lowering Your Property Taxes – What Iowans Need to Know.
  • Taking Food Away from Iowa’s Kids is Wrong.
  • Teachers with a Master’s Degree Would Receive a Break.
  • New Legislation Gives National Guard Leave of Absence More Flexibility.

Please share your comments!

Going forward, I will be listening and working closely with local leaders and community members, to make sure the state is partnering with those in our community who need help and assistance. I’m available by email, phone, and social media, to answer questions and listen to your concerns. You can always reach me by email or call me at home at 319-266-9021. We can also stay connected through social media, including FacebookTwitter, and YouTube. I appreciate hearing from you and I thank you for your continued support.

Thank you for taking the time to read the Statehouse News. Please keep in touch!

Upcoming Community Events

Apr 22 Special Olympics Polar Plunge
George Wyth State Park Beach, Waterloo, 10:45am, 515-986-5520

Apr 22 College Hill Neighborhood Clean-up
ThreeHouse Collaborative Campus Ministries, 2pm, 319-273-6228

Apr 22 Rally in the Valley
McLeod Center, 5pm, 319-273-2468

Apr 22 Crusader Knight
Valley Lutheran School, 5pm, 319-266-4565

Apr 22 Proud Image Chorus: Spring Concert
West High School, 7pm, 515-979-9054

Apr 22-23 Jordan’s Sportscards Show
College Square Mall, Sat 10am, Sun 11am, 319-277-3636

Apr 23 Metropolitan Chorale: Prairie Poetry
UNI Russell Hall, Bengston Auditorium, 3pm

Apr 25 UNI Softball vs Drake
Robinson Dresser Sports Complex, 5pm, 319-273-4849

Apr 28 Cedar Valley Arts Summit 2023
Waterloo Center for the Arts, 8:30am, 319-291-4490

Apr 28-30 UNI Softball vs Valparaiso
Robinson Dresser Sports Complex, Fri 5pm, Sat 2pm, Sun Noon, 319-273-4849

Apr 28-30 The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Hope Martin Theatre, Waterloo, Fri 7pm, Sat & Sun 2pm, 319-291-4494

Lowering Your Property Taxes – What Iowans Need to Know

When the legislative session started in January, lawmakers promised to work together to lower costs for Iowans, including property taxes.

As some Iowans faced a huge property tax increase due to rising assessments, a bipartisan bill was approved by the Iowa House on Wednesday that would guarantee that no homeowner or farmer will see their tax bill go up by more than 3% next year.

How does the bill reduce my property taxes?

House File 718 limits the tax growth on residential and agricultural properties to 3% annually and limits commercial and industrial properties to 8% annually. These limits are in addition to other property tax limits, such as the rollback applied to the various kinds of property in the state.

Does this bill cut local emergency services or funding for my local public schools?

No. While property taxes pay for local emergency services and public schools, this would provide property tax relief by shifting more school funding to the state and off of local property taxpayers. The bill reduces the so-called “uniform levy” that serves as the basis for school aid and comes entirely from local property taxpayers. Reducing this collection requires a greater amount of state funds to make up the difference.

The bill will also move all bonding votes, such as bonding for a new courthouse or school buildings, to be held at the same time every year. In addition to moving the date, it also requires additional notices to be sent to property owners regarding taxes and upcoming bonding proposals.

Why do my property taxes keep going up?

Over the last decade, significant tax changes were passed by the Governor and GOP lawmakers. Instead of lowering taxes for everyday Iowans, the new tax laws rewarded corporations, special interests, and those at the top. On January 1, 2023, the richest corporations in Iowa received automatic $160 million tax breaks. The Republican tax bill passed last year left out 500,000 Iowans. The last major property tax bill in Iowa cut property taxes for the wealthiest corporations while raising property taxes on homeowners and farmers.

Does this bill change the assessment of my home or the appeal process?

No, the bill does not change the property tax assessment or appeal process. The 3% cap is on your property tax bill, not assessed value or property tax rates.

Iowa House Democrats support common sense property tax reform that reduces property taxes for Iowans, not corporations and millionaires while making sure our cities are keeping people safe in emergencies and protecting our public schools.

HF 718 now moves to the Senate, which recently advanced its own property tax proposal that differs in many ways from the House proposal.

Taking Food Away from Iowa’s Kids is Wrong

Last week, Republican lawmakers approved spending millions of taxpayer dollars to take away food and healthcare from Iowa’s most vulnerable.

Senate File 494 restricts access to food and medical services by creating an asset test that includes things such as cash, college savings accounts, or a car. When implemented, it would automatically kick off at least 8,000 adults on Medicaid, 600 kids on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and thousands of children on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Instead of saving the state money, this bill will cost the state almost $7.5 million to implement in the first two fiscal years, and once fully implemented, the state will lose over $42 million annually in federal money. That means our tax dollars will be used to feed kids in other states, but not the kids in our own neighborhood.

House Democrats offered several amendments to ensure that Iowa’s kids, seniors, and persons with disabilities would still have access to food. Our amendments would have adjusted the federal poverty level for SNAP from 160% to 200% and proposed that money be allocated to food banks across the state that are experiencing record numbers of Iowans walking through their doors. All 18 Democratic proposals were voted down by the Republican party.

The bill now goes to the Governor for her signature. Contact Governor Reynolds at or call (515) 281-5211 to demand her veto this cruel bill.

Teachers with a Master’s Degree Would Receive a Break

Teachers with a Master’s degree or Doctoral degree would not need to pay a renewal fee on their teaching license if they have been employed for 10 years. A criminal background check would still be required every five years for those teachers.

In addition, House File 672 requires accredited nonpublic schools and charter schools to go through national criminal history registry checks as well as the Iowa criminal history check done upon initial hiring and then every five years. Previously, those private schools were exempt from the requirement. If a school employee is listed in certain criminal history registries, they would be immediately suspended pending a termination hearing.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

New Legislation Gives National Guard Leave of Absence More Flexibility 

Iowans who are members of the Iowa National Guard will now have greater flexibility under a new proposal.

Senate File 329 allows state employees who are Guard members to take a day off work that encompasses the entire 24 hours to perform Guard duty. This allows members to only take one day off, even if their workday extends into one or two calendar days. Currently, these individuals have to take two days off if their workday extends overnight.

There are nearly 7,000 soldiers and 2,000 airmen in the Iowa National Guard. The bill now goes to the Governor for her signature.

Other Iowa News

GOP LAWMAKERS INCREASE CAR TITLING FEES: Purchasing and titling a new vehicle will become more expensive under a Republican-supported bill.  Currently, there is a new registration fee of 5% on the purchase price for any vehicle.  Under House File 674, the registration fee would change to 5% of the purchase price of the vehicle plus $10.  The fee to have a vehicle titled would increase from $20 to $30.  On a positive note, the bill allows people to register and title their vehicles in any county.

DAIRY INNOVATION FUND MOVING FORWARD: Iowans increasingly want to know where their food comes from and want to buy from local farmers. To help Iowa dairies and dairy farmers the House recently passed House File 700 which will create a Dairy Innovation Fund. This innovation fund will provide grants to small-scale Iowa dairy farmers and dairies. HF 700 now goes to the Senate for their consideration.

MARCH IS THE FIRST MONTH TO HAVE BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION: March marked the first month this year when the state experienced below-normal precipitation. March rainfall totaled 1.49 inches, 0.5 inches below normal. Because of wetter-than-normal conditions since November, the past 90-day precipitation total is still above normal. The lower March precipitation has placed western Iowa on a “Drought Watch.” The newly created Iowa Drought Plan defines a Drought Watch as the least severe designation of dryness in the state. The full Water Summary Update can be found at

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