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The Kapucian Korner

January 20, 2011
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald
Greetings from Des Moines. It seems like just yesterday I returned home to plant the 2010 crop. And now, here we are, 2011. This is the third session for me and our number one priority remains the same: THE BUDGET.

Reining in State spending while prioritizing the needs of our citizens and protecting those most vulnerable is a daunting task. But, this task is our duty and responsibility.

We know there are areas of State Government that have excess to trim. Our job is to identify these areas and act upon them.

We also know that a bureaucracy that overregulates and overtaxes is a detriment to business and growth for our state. This is another area we intend to address. This is where I need your help the most. If your industry or profession has a state rule or regulation that seems over burdensome, redundant, or just busy work, I want you to let me know. To quote a movie line: “Help me, Help you.”

The first bill in the House is known as the Taxpayers First Act. The non-partisan Legislative Services Agency (LSA) estimates it will save the taxpayers upwards of $500 million dollars over three years while also setting aside $327 million dollars for tax relief.

While the final version of the bill is expected to change, it still faces several hurdles before it can land on Governor Branstad’s desk for his signature. The full House of Representatives must still take action on it before it can be sent to the Senate for committee work and a final vote by that entire body.

We are excited and committed toward reducing the size and scope of state government. We look forward to putting forward the suggestions we have received from our constituents as well as offering our additional savings ideas in the coming days and weeks.

The Taxpayers First Act includes a wide-ranging collection of cost savings ideas. For example, it eliminates funding for pork barrel earmarks such as heated sidewalks, eliminates millions of dollars set aside for rail infrastructure and depots that will not service any trains and combines and eliminates departments in state government.

The bill requires state employees to begin shouldering a small percentage of their own health care costs, ends sabbaticals at regent universities, halts further land purchases by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, ends all state benefits to illegal aliens, freezes out of state travel and puts a moratorium on vehicle purchases by the state among many others.

These are literally the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reducing government. We fundamentally believe government needs systemic reform. It is time to chart a new course that is more responsible and sustainable for the generations of Iowans – our children and grandchildren - yet to come.

We continue to strive to simplify government and reduce spending in order to lessen the burden that must be shouldered by taxpayers and job creators.

See you out and about Senate District 20.

As always, I welcome your questions and comments. Thank you for letting me represent you at the Capitol.

Please feel free to contact me: or 515 281-3371.

Senator Kapucian represents Tama, Grundy, Benton and Iowa counties.

Article Photos

Senator Tim Kapucian



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