When lawmakers wrapped up their deals for 2022, it was clear the Republican majority could celebrate a record characterized primarily as a success. Not only have major legislative changes been passed, but much of the ambitious agenda outlined by Governor Kim Reynolds in her State of the State message in January has been signed into law.
The governor issued a statement applauding the lawmakers’ record shortly after the session ended.
“This legislative session, I have instructed the House and Senate to work together to advance Iowa’s strong growth through policies that cut taxes, invest in biofuels, and strengthen our families, communities, schools. , our workforce and our economy”, she says. “I’m proud that our state is leading the country in many of these areas and delivering on the promises we made to the people of Iowa.”
Here are some of the achievements of the 2022 legislative session that relate directly to our region.
Changes in tax policy will reduce income taxes for many Iowans. The state income tax system will no longer be graduated to require a higher percentage payment by wealthier residents. Now, it will feature a flat rate of 3.9% for all Iowans subject to the tax. Corporate taxes have also been reduced and retirement income will no longer be taxed.
The flat tax rate was a top priority for the governor and is a policy goal of Republicans in many states. While The Messenger has long been a strong advocate for keeping taxes as low as possible, we urge lawmakers to pay close attention to the impact of these tax cuts on state revenue. It is expected that the growth of Iowa’s economy will result in lower rates of fundraising sufficient to enable the state government to meet its obligations. Lawmakers must ensure that this optimistic forecast actually materializes.
At Reynolds’ strong urging, legislation was passed that will strengthen the ethanol industry. Basically, this requires many gas stations across the state to be equipped to sell more ethanol blends. This is good news for ethanol manufacturers in our region and should stimulate the local economy.
A shortage of child care has long been a problem in many Iowa communities. Legislation has been enacted that makes various state regulations less restrictive. We hope this will spur the growth of child care options in our community and across the state.
The list of legislative changes is long. It includes major changes to the state’s unemployment system, changes to open enrollment provisions for Iowa schools, more money for Iowa Regents, and much more.
The Messenger congratulates lawmakers on a very productive year. We are happy to see that unified Republican control of the governorship and both houses of the legislature has proven to be a good arrangement. We hope that voters will keep this team in place in November.