We should spend less than projected revenue
In the 2011 legislative session we were finally able to pass a balanced budget in spite of a lot of stalling and opposition from the Democrats. It took until June 30, the last day of the last fiscal year to pass our final budget bill. We stood firm and insisted on a balanced budget and the Democrats who controlled the Senate finally agreed to the spending cap that we had insisted on. Since the Republicans took control of the Senate in the 2016 election, we have had budget surpluses. I have been pleased to play a role in having a cushion in our budgets so we still have a surplus even if revenue does not come in as high as expected.
Iowa needs a business climate that allows small business to prosper and provide jobs we desire
We must keep spending and taxes under control allow our families and small businesses to prosper. The key to excellent schools, roads and bridges and other things we all desire is a growing economy. Out of control spending and high taxes, along with heavy-handed regulations stifle growth and reduce tax revenues in the long run. The key to keeping our young people in Iowa is economic opportunity, whether as entrepreneurs or employees. The Democrats continue to support increased spending. In fact if we had passed all the amendments the House Democrats offered to our budget bills, we would have spent over $200 million more than we did in 2011, 2012 and 2013. We finally passed a bill giving commercial property tax relief in the 2013 session. Iowa's commercial property taxes are among the highest in the nation. The reductions in commercial property taxes are phased in and the bill has provisions to compensate local governments and to lower the cap on increasing valuations on agricultural and residential property.
We passed the largest tax cut yet in 2022. We will phase in a 3.9% flat individual income tax.
Iowa children deserve a world-class education
We all want the best education possible for our children. Parents should have choices in education the same as in other areas. We need good salaries for our teachers, especially math and science teachers. Good salaries alone will not guarantee the kind of results we all desire, however. We must have accountability, rewarding teachers who do exceptional work and weeding out teachers who are below par. Support for classroom teachers, more parental involvement and better discipline are also needed. We continue to work to improve our schools and to give parents more influence over what goes on in our schools.
These are exciting and challenging times for Iowa Agriculture
Agriculture is a huge industry here in Iowa. American farmers provide the safest and cheapest food supply in the world. The increasing demand for ethanol and bio-diesel are creating additional demand for our corn and soybeans. The potential is there for increasing exports of both grains and meat products, particularly to Asian nations. We must continue to promote these products and keep working to lower barriers that limit the exports of our products. We should continue looking for opportunities to add value to our products before exporting them. Of course the recent increase in our costs is cause for concern.
Capital Punishment should be restored for child rapists who kill their victims
Current Iowa law provides for a life sentence for someone who rapes a child. If the rapist murders his victim the penalty is still life in prison. This creates a situation where a rapist may think it is to his advantage to murder his victim so that he is less likely to be identified. There is no increased penalty. Where the perpetrator can be identified with certainty through DNA testing or fingerprints, he should be subject to the death penalty.
We must preserve our second amendment rights
Liberals are always trying to restrict our second amendment rights. We must oppose those efforts.