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 Statehouse News

Dear %%First Name%%,

I am writing this message on Thursday, May 3.  We are currently in the 5th month of the session and in our third week of overtime.  I hope that we may be done Saturday night depending on the majority party coming to a decision on the budget and tax bill for fiscal 2019. 

Please understand the majority party controls the Governor’s office, the Senate and the House.  The majority party has controlled all three branches of state government for two years.  Their leadership has not been able to agree on what they think is best for middle class Iowan’s.  I think things are upside down.  I know you want the legislature to fund good public education, K-12, community colleges, and state universities.  I know you want good roads to drive on.  I know you want affordable health care.  I know you want clean air and clean water.  I know you want to earn a good living with your hard work.  We Iowans don’t expect gifts but we do expect and demand fairness. 

Whatever the result is of the majority party's final product I just hope that our state budget is balanced, we have revenue to fund needed state programs which finally helps grow our future. 

Representative Phil Miller enjoyed meeting with over 100 middle schoolers from Davis County Schools. The whole group was excited to join Representative Miller for a photo in the Iowa House Chamber.

Representative Phil Miller was pleased to see former State Representative John Whitaker and his wife, Lorrie at the Statehouse during the final week of session. Joining them were visitors from Montana, who were very impressed with our Iowa State Capitol building.

Representative Phil Miller took a picture with Iowa House Sargent at Arms Steve Balderson. Steve is in charge of our high school Pages and also oversees visitors to the Iowa House Floor. Steve attended grade school in Fairfield and graduated from Van Buren County Schools in Keosauqua.

News from the Statehouse

Budget Mismanagement Leaves State with Cuts, Deficit

Earlier in the year, Governor Reynolds signed $35 million of budget cuts in to law. These cuts to the services Iowans depend on and the state’s on-going budget crisis were the main reason that lawmakers went into overtime to close out the 2018 legislative session. In the end, a $7.48 billion budget was approved for fiscal year 2019.

Since the state budget has been in deficit for two years in a row, Republican leaders at the Statehouse struggled to balance the state budget while paying back the $144 million in debt they had to borrow last year.

The impact of the latest round of budget cuts will be felt hardest by Iowa’s most vulnerable citizens, as well as students at community colleges and state universities.  Lawmakers knew the cuts would be needed since last fall, but waited until the final months of the state’s fiscal year to approve them.

As the final budget for the upcoming fiscal year was approved, many of the discussions happened with little to no public comment and review.  Many of the budgets funded programs less than they did in the past, and while there were some positives, much of the funding was simply just trying to get back to levels before the budget cuts.  

Many Iowans expressed concern that public schools will receive another historically low increase in state funding next year while GOP lawmakers approved a massive new tax giveaway to corporations and wealthy.  In addition to budget cuts, homeowners and farmers will be paying higher property taxes and a new sales tax for online purchases next year to pay for the new tax breaks approved this year.

Hard working Iowans who craft a budget every month for their family know and expect lawmakers to use the same principles that they do every month. Republican lawmakers have failed to live up to the expectations of Iowans, by running the state’s budget on a credit card and putting corporate tax cuts before everyday Iowans.

GOP Tax Giveaways Favor Wealthy, Corporations

On the last day of session, Republican lawmakers pushed through a $2.7 billion tax proposal that disproportionately benefits the wealthy and special interests. The bill came in spite of the fact the Governor and legislative leaders were forced to put $144 million on the state’s credit card last year to balance the state budget and made millions in budget cuts just weeks earlier in session.

The bill implements several new taxes, including taxes on streaming services like Netflix, digital products like phone apps, and an internet sales tax on purchases from places like eBay.  The revenue reductions will likely mean that Iowa families will also have to pay more in property taxes, tuition, and fees for government services to make up for the loss of revenue.  The budget mess already means Iowans are being shortchanged with fewer services for victims of domestic violence, fewer nursing home inspections, and little for public schools.

The Republican tax changes also do nothing to rein in corporate tax giveaways.  The bill also has nearly $500 million in new tax breaks for corporations in the state.  The bill heavily favors millionaires who will get a tax cut of $8,774 while everyday Iowans get just $56 on average in income tax reductions while having to pay for new taxes on things like Hulu, Spotify, ebooks, Uber, and online purchases.

Read More News from the Statehouse

K-12 School Aid Falls Short Again     
Iowa Republicans Pass Utility Legislation to Scale Back Energy Efficiency, Solar      
Beginning Steps Made Towards Improving Mental Health in Iowa     
Legislature Passes Water Quality Measures; More Work Needed    
Unconstitutional Six Week Abortion Ban Signed by Governor
Bi-Partisan Opioid Legislation Completed this Session     
Preventing Food Shaming Becomes Law    
Skills Training a Focus for Iowa Democrats    
Gun Rights Amendment Passes Legislature; Must Pass Again Next Session    
REAP Funded at Lowest Level in Over a Decade    
Lawmakers Continue the Push to End Medicaid Privatization     
2018 Natural Resources Legislative Update    
Retirement Systems in Iowa Remain Strong    
Law Aims to Protect Students from Concussions    
Iowa House Majority Enacts Anti-Immigration Legislation     
Continuing to Support Iowa’s Veterans     
Transportation Costs and School Aid Formula Issues Addressed    
Legislature Creates More Protections for Consumers
School Security and Suicide Prevention

Contact Representative Phil Miller

1009 Grand Ave
Iowa House of Representatives
Des Moines, IA 50319
902 S. Suncrest Drive
Fairfield, IA 52556
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