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Opinion

Senate finalized two bills for education funding

Last week, the Senate finalized two bills regarding education funding. The first was House File 2230, which increased education funding by $32 million for the next fiscal year. We also passed an amended version of Senate File 455, a bill we sent to the House last year to fix transportation and per pupil inequities in the school funding system. The bill provides $14 million in new money for schools to dedicate to transportation and funding to educate all our students fairly, regardless of zip code.

Another bill we passed, Senate File 2341, requires students to pass a civics exam with a score of 60 percent or above in order to graduate from high school. Under the proposal, students would take an exam based on the latest available civics exam administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Students will have the opportunity to take the exam once per school year at no cost. As we focus on STEM in our schools, it also important students are learning the history of our country, how government works, and the basics of the United States Constitution. The bill passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 38-12.

Iowa Senate Passes the Heartbeat Bill

A baby’s heart is the first organ to develop in their mother’s womb. It is vital for a baby’s survival. When that heart, inside and outside the womb, stops beating it also determines the end of one’s life. Life matters.

Senate File 2281 would prohibit an abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be detected during an abdominal ultrasound test performed by a physician. SF 2281 would prohibit an abortion unless, in the physician’s reasonable medical judgment, a medical emergency exists and would be necessary to protect the life of the mother. Under the bill, the pregnant patient would not be criminally liable if an abortion were performed. It would charge a physician who knowingly and intentionally performs an abortion.

A Model for the Nation

On Wednesday Iowa SenateRepublicans passed Iowa Working Families Tax Relief Act. This bill is bold,pro-growth tax relief. It provides working Iowans with an average of $1000per year in tax relief. It cuts taxes by $1 billion. It treats taxpayers more fairly and simplifies the tax code.

Iowa has the fourth highest top individual tax rate in the country, higher than even Vermont and NewJersey. These rates inhibit growth because they hinder investment and discourage work. When Iowans have an incentive to work and invest, it attracts other employers and individuals to come to Iowa because they can realize their dreams of owning a home, saving for college, and providing for their families.

Iowa also has the highest corporate tax rate in the country.This tax rate causes Iowa to be passed over by many employers looking to build new opportunities. Iowa Working Families Tax Relief Act significantly reduces the tax rate paid by employers, while also eliminating or reducing most of the tax credits for special interest groups. In order to recover the revenue lost to those special tax exemptions, Iowa’s corporate tax rates are the highest in the nation on entities not fortunate enough to enjoy those carve outs.

Contact Sen. Amy Sinclair, R-Allerton, at 641-870-0199 or amy.sinclair@legis.iowa.gov

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