Ashley’s Angle: Week One 1/8/18
Trusted. Proven. Leader
Thank you so much for entrusting me to represent Iowa House District 67. I am proud to represent people from Marion, Robins, Hiawatha, and Cedar Rapids.
I was honored to be given the opportunity to escort Governor Kim Reynolds into the House Chamber prior to the annual Condition of the State Address. I am proud to have been included in such a strong statement that illustrates the influential and powerful role that women serve in Iowa.
During the opening week of the 2018 Legislative Session, we have had three joint sessions (House and Senate) to get updates on important areas of our government. We heard from Governor Kim Reynolds (Condition of the State), Chief Justice Mark Cady (Condition of the Judiciary), and Major General Timothy Orr (Condition of the National Guard). I wanted to take a minute to highlight some of the key points from the Governor’s address. One of the key issues I have heard from constituents is tax reform.
Her speech first explained that although the recently enacted federal tax reform will be good for Iowans in terms of their federal tax liability—it has some negative state tax liability implications. Iowa is one of three states that have full federal deductibility—this is the ability to deduct from Iowa income (on your Iowa return) the federal taxes you paid. Because our federal taxes will go decrease under the new federal tax reform, Iowans will not have as much federal tax to deduct from Iowa income. This will cause their Iowa tax liability to go up. It was largely because of that potential tax increase on Iowans that the governor recommended eliminating federal deductibility from Iowa’s tax code. She also cited the desire to more permanently free Iowa from the effects of tax decisions made by Congress.
The governor went on to outline that personal income tax rate reduction was the next step in reform. She stated the goal was having Iowans keep more of their hard-earned money. There were no specifics on brackets, rates, or the amount of the reduction—just a rate reduction generally.
Modernizing Iowa’s tax code was also on the governor’s list of priorities. Little details were given on execution of this goal—but general support for main street fairness was evident.
Iowa’s high corporate tax rate was also mentioned as something that needed to be addressed—but the governor stated that this was not the year to do that. Instead, she stated that she would create a bipartisan task force to analyze and review every tax credit for effectiveness and to make recommendations to the legislature next year regarding which incentives were a good return on Iowa’s investment.
Finally the governor concluded that tax reform in Iowa would be a multi-year effort, but that in the end we would have a completely reformed, modernized and more competitive tax code.
As a legislature, it is now our job to continue to work through some of the Governor’s proposals and determine which approach is best for Iowans.
Bill of the Week
The bill of the week is… House Study Bill 508!
This bill would create a voluntary notification and payment system that utilizes the convenience of text messaging. With this system, you would be able to receive important information in regards to your citation, such as the specific violation that is being charged, the fine amount, court appearance reminders, and links to pay the citation online.
Making sure our state is responsive to the advancement of technology is a priority for me. I see this as an added convenience and quality of life issue for you.
If you have any questions about this or any other bill, please feel free to contact me. You can find the full text of the bill here: HSB 508.
A Great Relationship with Iowa’s Sister State, Kosovo
As a member of the International Relations committee, I had the amazing opportunity to meet with Behgjet Pacolli, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo. As Kosovo is a sister state with Iowa, I was honored to further strengthen our great relationship. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the Republic of Kosovo, as well as the ongoing efforts of the Iowa National Guard helping with the peace-keeping efforts in Kosovo.
Good Luck, Dylan and Barrett!
It was great to have Dylan, my former clerk from last session, stop by and catch up! Dylan will be starting a new adventure in Denver, Colorado, as he has accepted a position with the National Conference of State Legislatures. I wish him the best of luck, as well as my new clerk, Barrett. Barrett and I are both eager to hit the ground running and have another successful legislative session!
I am continuing to develop my Constituent Advisory Committee.
The group is comprised of people I could email or call to ask questions about specific policy questions. If you would like to join, please email my legislature email (email@example.com) and let me know what your area of expertise is and how I could get in touch with you.
From Education, Judicial issues, Medical, Energy, and Tax policy, I want your input in the process.