November 8, 2019
Greeting to you all,
A special tax credit review committee, comprised of state lawmakers, met last week. However, the majority party refused to review any of the state’s corporate tax credits, to make sure that Iowa taxpayers are getting a return on their investment. Over the last several years, the total dollar amount of state tax credits and tax breaks to corporations has more than doubled, growing from $153 million in 2005, to $373 million, in 2019.
As taxpayers continue to give millions more to big companies, investments in critical state services like health care and education, have flat-lined or declined. It’s created an on-going state budget mess that has resulted in Iowa families paying higher property taxes, public schools being shortchanged, fewer services for victims of domestic violence, and students are paying higher tuition. Instead of fixing the budget imbalance created by these corporate tax credits, the majority party has pushed through another massive tax bill, that includes tens of millions in corporate tax cuts and hundreds of millions in new tax breaks. That bill has caused even more problems for the state budget, with more cuts and inadequate investments in schools and healthcare.
I believe it is time to get back to the basics and re-focus the legislature on doing what’s best for working families, not just corporations and the special interests. The Legislature needs to do a serious review of Iowa’s corporate tax credits and make sure Iowans know how their taxpayer dollars are being spent.
Iowans with PTSD and intellectual disability may soon be able to legally access medical cannabis, after it was approved by the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Board. Iowa’s industrial hemp program is moving forward and could see hemp production as early as next year, after the USDA released rules last week.
As the weather begins to get colder, Iowans concerned about the cost of their heating bills can sign up to receive assistance, through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), beginning November 1. To learn if you qualify go to https://humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/liheap.
As always, the Iowa Legislature’s webpage, www.legis.iowa.gov, has a great amount of information for you to read. In addition to reading bills and finding out what’s happening in the House or Senate on any given day, you can now listen to or watch our debates live, when we are in session. I currently serve on four committees for this session: Commerce, Local Government, Public Safety and Ranking Member of the Transportation Committee.
Please check out all my other information and pictures from the current session on my website www.bobkressig.com. In addition to listening posts and forums, you can also reach me by email anytime or call me at home at 319-266-9021. We can also stay connected through social media, including Facebook, Twitter 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
7 Kat Perkins: Holiday Acoustic Trio Hawkeye Community College – Tama Hall, 1:30pm, 296-2320
7 James Hearst In Prose Public Discussion/Opening Reception Hearst Center, Cedar Falls, 3pm, 273- 8641
7 Jazz, Folk & the Blues: History of Music – The Fabulous Irregulars are Roger Bernard, Dave Morse & Kevin Paar Hearst Center, 7pm, 273-8641
7 Kat Perkins: Home for the Holidays Hawkeye Community College – Tama Hall, 7pm, 296-2320
7 PMB Live! Panther Marching Band Concert *GPAC, 7:30pm, 273-2024
7-9 Holiday Shop Hop Cedar Falls Downtown District, 10am, 277-0213
8 Lunchtime Concert – UNI TetraCor Hearst Center, noon, 273-8641
8 Under the Harvest Moon Rotary Reserve, 6pm, 277-2187
9 UNI Football vs. Indiana State UNIDome, 4pm, 273-4849
13 UNI Men’s Basketball vs. Cal State McLeod Center, 7pm, 273-4849
14 IHSAA Football Semifinals UNIDome, 515-432-2011
15 UNI Children’s Choir Concert *GPAC, 7pm, 273-2024
15-16 Black Hawks Hockey vs Omaha Young Arena, 7:05pm, 291-7680
|News from the Statehouse|
Veterans Day – Honoring Iowa Veterans
Veterans Day is Monday, November, 11 and there are several ceremonies being held across the state to honor those who have served our country. First recognized in 1919, the date commemorates the end of fighting in World War I when an armistice took effect between the Allied nations and Germany at 11 am on November 11, 1918.
As part of the numerous events honoring veterans across Iowa, there will be an Iowa Veterans Day Observance at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Adel beginning at 8:00 am. There will also be a ceremony at Iowa State University in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union to honor students who have served our country.
Last session, the Legislature passed various bills to help Iowa’s veterans, including expanding the number of families who are eligible to receive funds from the Injured Veterans Grants Program. This program provides funds to family members who have a loved one who was injured and allows them travel to be with their soldier. The Legislature also voted to eliminate barriers that military spouses may face when trying to obtain an occupational license or have issues getting their work license expedited.
A full list of Veterans Day events statewide is available at: https://va.iowa.gov/.
Applications for Winter Home Heating Assistance Begin Nov. 1st
Beginning November 1st, Iowans may start filing applications for limited financial heating assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
LIHEAP’s annual application period runs from November 1st through April 30th, and is based on household size and income. The LIHEAP program is designed to help low-income families meet the partial cost of home heating through a one-time payment made directly to the utility or heating fuel vendor.
Iowa law also protects qualified applicants who are head of a household under LIHEAP from being disconnected from natural gas or electric service during the annual winter moratorium (November 1st through April 30th). Iowans should know, even if they do not ultimately qualify for LIHEAP, utility companies cannot disconnect natural gas or heating while a LIHEAP application is pending.
The Iowa Utilities Board urges all LIHEAP-certified customers and applicants to continue paying towards their energy bills through the winter to avoid accumulating high debt or face potential utility service disconnection in the spring. For additional information on eligibility requirements, please see: https://iub.iowa.gov/consumers/low-income-home-energy-assistance-program-liheap
Iowans interested in applying for LIHEAP should contact their local county office regarding application for services. The link to every local office’s contact information can be found here: https://humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/where-apply.
|Read More News from the Statehouse|
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