I am working hard make sure that it won’t be business at usual at the Statehouse in 2010.
The deepening national recession continues to hit Iowa’s large and small businesses, communities, families and state services. Despite successful efforts to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in state spending, more cuts must be made.
Greedy Wall Street executives and corporations that put obscene wealth before hard work, self-interest before sacrifice and self-indulgence before responsibility caused the national recession. Unfortunately, hard-working Iowans are paying the price for their excesses.
I am now preparing for the next session, which officially begins January 11. The unprecedented nature of the recession means Republican and Democratic legislators must work together to balance the next state budget without raising taxes.
During the 2010 session:
•No area of the state budget will be safe from further cuts.
•The Legislature has to look at numerous ways to streamline and modernize state government. A top priority will be getting rid of outdated, overpriced services.
•Legislators must closely examine corporate (not grandma’s) tax credits and other lucrative corporate incentives to make sure taxpayers get the best bang for their buck. If it’s not helping create good-paying jobs, it should be eliminated.
•Every legislator – whether Republican or Democrat – must put the interests of their constituents ahead of their political party. I will keep listening closely to make sure your best ideas are brought to Des Moines.
While pushing for real change at the Statehouse, I will fight to protect the progress we’ve made to strengthen and expand Iowa’s middle class. This includes our recent initiatives to improve student achievement and teacher quality, ensure public safety, and protect services for children and other vulnerable Iowans.
In short, during these tough economic times, I remain committed to a balanced, fiscally responsible state budget that will help us lay a new foundation for prosperity in every Iowa community.
This is a legislative update from Senator Tom Rielly, representing Iowa, Poweshiek, and Keokuk counties, and portions of Mahaska and Tama counties. To contact Senator Rielly when the Legislature is not in session, call him at home at 641-673-0359. E-mail him at:
Senator Tom Rielly is chair of the Transportation Committee. He also serves on the Agriculture, Commerce, Economic Growth, Environment & Energy Independence, and Local Government committees.