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Legislative Updates

Published Friday, February 14, 2020

The First Funnel deadline of the state legislative session is now one week away. By that date all policy bills (non-tax or spending bills) that fail to be approved by the policy committee to which they have been assigned will be dead for the year. 
 
The Legislature waits until the March meeting of the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) before starting to put budget numbers together. The REC estimates all incoming and outgoing revenues for the current and next fiscal year, and the Legislature is required to use the lower of the two estimates from the December REC meeting and the March meeting.
 
State revenues appear healthy. According to the Legislative Services Agency, January saw an uptick of $69.9 million compared to last January, or a 9.3% increase. Through the first seven months of Fiscal Year 2020, state revenues are 6.9% higher than FY 2019. For reference, in the December REC meeting, they predicted FY 2020 coming in 2.1% higher than FY 2019.
 
Sales and Use taxes saw an increase in January of 16.3% over last January. For the fiscal year, the growth in sales and use tax revenues is 8.5% over last year (compared to the REC’s projection of 5.9%). 
 
During the Condition of the State address, Governor Reynolds introduced the Invest In Iowa Act (SSB 3116 and HSB 657), which was introduced in both chambers last week. The 46-page, 11-division bill is one of the biggest and most transformative pieces of legislation to hit the Capitol in many years. It would raise the sales tax by one cent, cut income and property taxes, fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund and shift a large part of mental health funding from the counties to the State.
 
Legislators heard loud and clear over the past year that child care is a major impediment to growth in Iowa. As you look through the PDI Bill Tracker, you’ll notice a large of number of child care bills. Both chambers are moving a number of them forward and will likely winnow the list down to a few priorities. 
 
Stay up to do on issues tracked by Professional Developers of Iowa, MEDCO’s Industry Association, at http://www.ialobby.com/billtracker/pdi/.

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