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District 72 Update

March 18, 2016
By State Rep. Dean Fisher - R-Garwin , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Newsletter for Thursday, March 10, 2016

Week nine was another funnel week, a deadline for when our bills have to be through a committee in the other chamber to stay alive. This deadline does not apply to Appropriations or Ways and Means bills, so more of those bills will now be coming forward. We will now turn to the budget and a focus on debating bills sent over from the other chamber, in my case bills from the Senate. One key milestone coming up is the Revenue Estimating Conference, scheduled to meet on Wednesday, March 16. This conference will give us a new estimate of our revenue for the coming fiscal years. If this estimate is lower for fiscal year 2017 we will be bound to use that estimate for our appropriations budget target.

Tax Coupling Agreement

Article Photos

State Rep. Dean Fisher
R-Garwin

Early this session the Iowa House passed HF 2092, known as the Federal Tax Coupling bill. That bill has been tied up in the Senate since January 28, causing delays in filing farm income taxes. On Thursday we were able to make an agreement from the Senate and bring the bill forward.

Coupling will help tens of thousands of Iowa taxpayers. Small businesses will be able to expense up to $500,000 worth of qualifying purchases; teachers will be able to deduct out-of-pocket expenses for classroom supplies; seniors will be able to give tax-free contributions to qualifying charitable organizations; homeowners will be able to deduct mortgage insurance, just like they would mortgage interest; and parents and students will be able to deduct qualifying higher education expenses, reducing the cost of college and continuing education. This bill allows Iowans to avoid an estimated $95 million in tax increases.

As part of the agreement we will include a bill the House passed in 2014 that dealt with clarifications on sales tax on consumable supplies for manufacturers. This agreement will ensure the state is not unfairly taxing supplies and replacement parts, saving our manufactures millions of dollars in sales tax and making them more competitive with other states.

Both the House and Senate Ways and Means Committees passed this bill on Thursday, and both legislative chambers expect to pass the bill this week and send it to the governor for his signature early the following week.

Other Bills of Note

House File 2392 - This bill implemented recommendations from a task force that was focused on reforming Iowa's Career and Technical Education system at the high school and community college levels. Iowa Workforce Development estimates that 56% of all jobs in the state are considered middle-skill, compared to 12% that are low-skill and 32% that are high-skill. Unfortunately, only a third of Iowa workers have the necessary training to fill those middle-skill jobs. Middle skill jobs include careers such as law enforcement, skilled trades, or nursing, careers that provide good wages to raise a family on. The bill benefits high school students by establishing opportunities for collaboration between high schools, community colleges and industry to create career pathways for students. The bill passed 95 to 0 in the House.

House File 2329 - This bill imposes a ban on the sale of fetal tissue - baby body parts. This is in response to the heinous practice uncovered by videos released over the past year demonstrating the practice. The bill passed the House 56 to 43 on a party line vote.

I would love to have you come down to the Capitol any Monday through Thursday to visit, discuss your concerns with me, and take a tour of this beautiful building. It is one of Iowa's treasures.

As always, please feel free to contact me at dean.fisher@legis.iowa.gov or 641-750-3594.

 
 
 

 

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