Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Politics

February 9, 2012

Jim VanEngelenhoven's Weekly Review

Des Moines —  

Various legislation is being considered that will continue to focus on jobs, savings, and certainty for job creators and all Iowans. The following bills have passed the House this Session and sent to the Senate for consideration relative to these goals:

House File 2042 – Requires all administrative rules created by State agencies must be accompanied by a ‘Jobs Impact Statement’. Administrative rules are regulations drawn up by government bureaucrats to implement laws approved by the Legislature.

House File 2103 – Makes it easier for new employers to do business in Iowa by reducing the length of time they pay an ‘introductory rate’ for unemployment taxes. New employers will spend less time paying a tax rate mandated by the State, and more time paying a tax rate they have earned.

House File 2104 – Allows employers to recover faster from the last few years of economic sluggishness and return to a lower tax rate, freeing up money to hire more employees or invest in their business.

The Status of FY 2014 Allowable Growth: The proposals by the House and Senate are vastly different. The Senate passed SF 2114 setting allowable growth at 4% for FY 2014 (for the 2013/2014 school year). House File 2245 does not set growth for FY 2014, but changes how allowable growth is set. Senate File 2114 means a $143 million increase in the State budget for FY 2014. The State cost per pupil increases from $6,001 to $6,241. It also would mean a $59 million property tax increase resulting from the school aid formula.

Will the State have an additional $143 million to spend in future years? This would be on top of the $35 million increase that 2% allowable growth (set by the Legislature in 2011) means for FY 2013. School aid for K-12 in FY 2013 would total $2.666 billion and at 4% in FY 2014 would total $2.809 billion.

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