There was further evidence last week that middle-class Iowa families and employers are continuing to feel the pinch of the deepening national recession.
The state's Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) met and lowered Iowa's revenue forecast for the current fiscal year and next fiscal year. This is on top of new figures showing the unemployment is rising in our state, more small businesses are seeing sales drop, and more homeowners are facing foreclosure.
In response, we are taking the fiscally responsible steps necessary to balance the state budget.
State Sen. Tom Rielly
While difficult decisions are ahead, we intend to keep our commitments without raising taxes. We'll make sure every Iowa child has health care by 2011, remain focused on educational excellence, and continue creating good-paying jobs in renewable energy and other key industries.
Consumer protections for car buyers
When buying a new or used car, no one wants to sink their hard-earned money in a lemon. That's why the Senate unanimously passed a bill that helps ensure Iowa families don't get swindled when they buy a car.
Senate File 419 closes a loophole that has allowed unscrupulous car dealers and recyclers to easily get back into business by recruiting a friend or relative to obtain a license for them.
Under the bill, once recyclers or dealers have their license revoked, they cannot be an owner, salesperson, employee, dealer representative or officer of a corporation involved in motor vehicle sales for five years. In addition, the Department of Transportation will have the right to deny a dealer license application to anyone acting on behalf of a person whose license has been revoked.
This legislation will protect consumers by preventing dishonest dealers from returning to the marketplace under another name. It will also protect honest business people by ensuring they don't have to compete with shady dealers.
The bill now goes to the House for consideration.
This is a legislative column by Senator Tom Rielly, representing Iowa, Poweshiek, and Keokuk counties, and portions of Mahaska and Tama counties.
To contact Senator Rielly during the week, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. On weekends he can be reached at home at 641-673-0359. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org