Abortion bill, budget targets debated
On Monday, April 3, I was happy to welcome a group from Pekin High School to the Capitol. The students were at the Statehouse for their senior trip with teacher Kendra Richardson.
On Wednesday, I met with Kevin and Angela Prevo and John Moritz at the Capitol. We discussed SF 179 which deals with federal tax coupling. Farmers advocate for a permanent coupling with the federal tax code to assure they have adequate planning and are not required to keep two tax records – one for state and one for federal requirements. We also discussed water quality and the county property tax funding of mental health costs.
Most committees have completed necessary business and therefore meetings are sparse. Both Monday and Tuesday consisted mostly of noncontroversial bill debate; however, things escalated Tuesday afternoon as Senate File 471 was brought to the floor.
SF 471 takes away the rights of a woman to make her own medical decisions. This bill is a 20-week abortion ban that does not have exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal anomaly and provides only narrow exceptions for life or health of the mother.
The truth is that the vast majority of abortions after twenty weeks are from wanted pregnancies that have gone horribly wrong. Parents are forced to make the terrible, tough decision to carry the baby to term or terminate the pregnancy. I don’t think politicians should try to make medical decisions for a woman when it’s best made between her, her family, her doctor, and her faith.
Revised budget targets were another topic of discussion this week.
For the second time this year, Republican lawmakers are forcing Iowans to pay for their massive corporate tax giveaways. In the outline they released this week, we learned the GOP budget does not build the skilled workforce we need nor protect the most vulnerable citizens in our community, including our seniors, children, and those with disabilities.
The shortfall in the state budget is largely the result of new corporate tax giveaways that have increased exponentially and now top $500 million annually.
Those GOP giveaways have turned a $927 million state surplus into a $130 million general fund deficit this year.
Back in January, the state faced a $120 million deficit and Republicans forced mid-year budget cuts that raised tuition for Iowa students.
As more details on the budget come to light in the weeks ahead, I believe we should work together to restore fiscal discipline and ensure Iowans no longer have to pay for the tax giveaways the state can’t afford. Borrowing from your family savings to pay your credit card debt is not a good solution.
Legislative Forums: The final Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce Legislative forum will be held at 7:30 a.m. April 15 at the Fairfield Public Library. My final personal forum will be held on April 22. I will meet with constituents at 9 a.m. at Great Day Cafe In Keosauqua, and at noon at Rancho Centinela in Bloomfield.
– State Rep. Curt Hanson represents Iowa House District 82, which includes most of Jefferson County and Davis and Van Buren counties, in the state Legislature.