The Capitol Report by Sen. Rich Taylor
A Sept. 1 legislative update from Sen. Rich Taylor, representing Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties.
As we end the summer with a celebration of the progress of working families, we have a few new victories to be excited about.
This year, the Legislature approved initiatives that will help expand Iowa’s middle class and grow our economy by:
• Reducing Iowa’s skilled worker shortage with an investment of $34.3 million in worker training to help Iowans qualify for job openings at local businesses (HF604).
This will allow Iowans who want to do more for their families to move up to in-demand careers, while providing the skilled workers Iowa employers need.
A pilot project has shown this approach works. By expanding worker-training initiatives to community colleges statewide, more Iowans will be able to get their GED, learn basic skills, and earn industry-recognized certificates in welding, health care, technology and other areas.
• Ensuring Iowans get paid for the work they’ve done by expanding wage theft investigations at Iowa Workforce Development (SF 430).
Workers should always be paid what they are owed. Unfortunately, there are a few bad employers right here in Iowa who cheat employees out of their pay, pocket unauthorized deductions and confiscate tips. It’s not fair to the workers or to honest employers that play by the rules.
• Cutting taxes for low-income working Iowa families by increasing the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 7 percent to 15 percent of the federal credit (SF 295).
A boost in our state EITC is helping 210,000 Iowans—parents to almost 40 percent of all Iowa kids—work their way out of poverty. These Iowans pay the highest percentage of their income in state and local taxes, even though they are among our lowest-paid workers. The EITC also helps invigorate our economy when the extra income is spent locally on food, gas, car repairs, medical bills and other necessities.
For newsletters, photos, information, visit online at www.senate.iowa.gov/senator/taylor.
To contact Taylor during session, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at home at 319-931-1568. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sen. Taylor is vice-chair of the Agriculture Committee. He also serves on the Economic Growth, Judiciary, Local Government and Transportation committees, as well as the Justice Systems Budget Subcommittee.