Reaching Consensus on Behalf of Iowans
House Republicans are fighting for and delivering results for Iowans. For weeks, House Republicans have been fighting to give taxpayers a seat at the table while also investing in the priorities of Iowans. This week, the House delivered on that promise by securing agreements on tax coupling and consumables.
Part of the agreement between House Republicans and Senate Democrats includes House Republican’s tax coupling bill which provides $95 million in tax relief to Iowans.
The tax coupling bill has an impact on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 ending balance and the FY 2017 ongoing revenue levels. Any agreement will impact discussions on school aid and budget targets.
The bill couples with everything except bonus depreciation in tax year 2015. It does not couple in tax year 2016 leaving that decision to the 2017 Legislature. There is a $95.7 million impact on FY 2016 revenue/ending balance. That money goes directly to taxpayers. Additionally, $86.5 million is added to FY 2017 on-going revenue with roughly $55 million of that available for appropriation under the state’s expenditure limitation law.
Governor Branstad has stated the House GOP coupling plan is something that he will support.
This agreement provides manufacturers with a clear and consistent definition of what is exempted from sales tax. Republicans worked to pass this same language in 2014. This provision ensures that the state is not unfairly taxing supplies and replacement parts during the manufacturing process. This amounts to double taxation on manufacturers. Placing this definition in the code prevents departmental bureaucrats from reinterpreting the current administrative rule based on the state’s revenue needs.
Education Funding Coming Together
House Republicans began this session committed to setting education funding in a timely manner. House Republicans are committed to finding a solution that provides school districts with the highest responsible increase that the state can actually fulfill.
This will be the sixth year in a row where schools have received an increase and the state has fulfilled its commitment.
Iowa House Passes Ban on Fetal Tissue Sale
On Wednesday, the Iowa House passed House File 2329. House File 2329 prohibits a person from knowingly acquiring, providing, receiving, transferring, or using a fetal body part in Iowa, regardless of whether the acquisition is for value. This prohibits the sale or donation of fetal tissue in Iowa.
The prohibition does not apply to diagnostic or remedial tests, procedures, or observations to determine the life or health of the fetus or pregnant woman; the final disposition of a fetal body part; or pathological study. The bill was amended on the floor to apply to fetal body parts aborted after the effective date of the act. This allows research institutions in the state to continue using samples that were obtained before the passage of the bill.
A person who violates this law is guilty of a class “c” felony, punishable by a confinement of no more than 10 years and a fine of at least $1,000.
Juvenile Records Sealed in Iowa
On Wednesday, Governor Branstad signed Senate File 2288 a bill that keeps the majority of juvenile records sealed, unless a judge orders them unsealed. Many states in the country allow juvenile records to be sealed to protect adults from mistakes they made as children. Until this bill, Iowa did not seal juvenile records and a person, no matter how old, had to answer for mistakes of their youth.
Senate File 2288, as signed by the Governor, requires juvenile records to be confidential, unless the juvenile committed a forcible felony. Forcible felonies include; felonious child endangerment, assault, murder, sexual abuse, kidnapping, robbery, human trafficking, arson in the first degree, or burglary in the first degree. A juvenile charged or convicted of these crimes would not have their record automatically sealed, but could request a judge seal the records if the case has been dismissed and the person is no longer subject to the juvenile court. A judge may seal the juvenile records if the child’s interest in making the records confidential outweighs the public’s interest in the records remaining public.
Although most juvenile records would be sealed, some parties still have access to the records, including court professionals, counselors, guardians, probation officers, the Department of Corrections and others who may be assisting the juvenile. Allowing these groups access ensures the juvenile is held accountable for their actions while they receive the necessary help.
Sealing juvenile records allows young Iowans a fresh start and ensures mistakes of the past don’t destroy their future.
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