Capitol Report by Rep. Hanson
Iowa lawmakers wrapped up the 2013 legislative session today and State Rep. Curt Hanson of Fairfield said agreements reached this year will help strengthen Iowa’s middle class.
“Unlike the divisive politics of D.C., we worked together in Iowa to reach historic agreements on taxes, education, and health care,” he said. “When everyone agreed to put politics aside, we make great progress on the issues that will help grow our middle class.”
Hanson said he was pleased with the progress made in education and building Iowa’s skilled workforce. Some of the initiatives this year include: expanding early literacy, new efforts to keep good teachers in the classroom, and ensuring every high school graduate has the skills necessary to land a good job or continue their education.
“With nearly every job requiring some training after high school, I’m pleased we worked together to build Iowa’s skilled workforce,” said Hanson. “We kept tuition affordable at our community colleges and universities while expanding opportunities for workers of all ages to get training for high-skill jobs.”
He said lawmakers broke new ground on efforts to put Iowans back to work.
A compromise was reached to fix the inequities in Iowa’s property tax system for businesses, which has been building for 30 years.
Lawmakers also helped local communities improve their quality of life, expanded support for small businesses, and gave Iowa’s agricultural economy a boost through renewable energy.
“In addition to balancing the state budget, we approved several bills that will help Iowa’s economy grow. We’re encouraging more investment and research in renewable energy, biosciences and advanced manufacturing that will pay dividends for years to come,” said Hanson. “We cut property taxes for Iowa businesses and are targeting state incentives to create good-paying jobs.”
Other highlights Hanson mentioned of the 2013 session include: Expanding access to affordable health care for 150,000 Iowans, additional support for veterans and military families, a $30 million middle class tax cut, $27 million to improve Iowa’s water quality, and new laws to protect kids from child abuse and sex offenders.