Monday, October 06, 2008

News From Iowa House GOP Leader Chris Rants

2009 Republican Agenda
Today the Iowa House Republicans rolled out our plan for the 2009 legislative session.

See below for the plan and visit for more specifics.

Security for Families

• Protecting your Identity and Privacy
House Republicans know that a key part of financial security is protection from identity theft. That is why we will require the state of Iowa to notify Iowans when it is learned someone else is using their social security number and penalize government officials who sell private information for personal gain.

• Keeping Local Control of Schools
House Republicans support local school boards and officials. We will end plans to take away their authority over taxes, curriculum, getting rid of bad teachers to unelected out of state arbitrators.

• Education standards
House Republicans will approve rigorous state content standards by 2014 and set in motion recommendations for rigorous performance standards. Republicans offered this proposal in 2008 and it was adopted and then repealed by Democrats on April 25.

Security for Taxpayers

• Ban Pork Barrel spending
House Republicans will end the stealthy and unaccountable process of earmarked pork barrel projects. We will cancel the pork projects approved by the Democrats and use those dollars on flood relief efforts.

• Property tax freeze
House Republicans will approve a K-12 allowable growth that does not raise property taxes. It is the same position Republicans took when we offered and supported H-8007.

• Runaway spending
During the 2007 and 2008 legislative sessions, Democrats increased state spending by $928 million or 17 percent.

State Auditor David Vaudt described the FY 09 budget as one that “represents a significant step backward in terms of transparency and fiscal responsibility.” He added, “If we can’t make ends meet with nearly 5% average annual revenue growth, how will we make it if revenues flatten out or decline, as they do in a recession?”

Security for Businesses

• Strengthening Right to Work
House Republicans will end the relentless campaign to repeal Iowa’s Right to Work Law. We will pass a resolution constitutionally protecting Iowa’s Right to Work Law, and place it in Chapter 20 of the Iowa code to protect all workers.

• Small business tax increase
House Republicans will repeal the painful small business tax increase approved by Democrats. Republicans unanimously opposed the tax increase 2008.

• Renewable Jobs
Republicans will work to ensure that we have a business climate that promotes not just new forms of electric energy production, but a transmission system that allows our green power to be sold out of state thereby bringing profit to Iowans and power to America.

In the first month...

Iowans are looking for accountability and answers from their leaders. That's why House Republicans will accomplish the following during the first month of the 2009 session.

• Strengthen Iowa’s Right to Work law. This law protects all non-union workers from being forced to pay union dues. States with Right to Work laws create more jobs and have higher incomes than states that don’t.

• Repeal the $50 Million Tax Increase on Small Businesses. House Democrats passed a painful tax increase on Iowa’s small businesses last session and Republicans will immediately repeal the increase.

• Freeze Property Taxes. Republicans will freeze property tax increases for Iowans so they can catch their breath from the floods and other natural disasters.

• Ban Pork Barrel Spending. Republicans will ban any future pork barrel projects like decorative flower pots, and cancel pork such as a new recreation center in Des Moines that Democrats approved.