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In the news
STATE REVENUE STRONG, BUT LESS OF IT: A panel charged with projecting Iowa’s revenue expects revenue to drop off, but remain strong, over the next two years.
In fiscal 2023, the Revenue Estimating Conference predicts the state’s receipts will drop by 2.7 percent, largely from a drop in state income taxes. Revenue is expected to increase by 0.6 percent in fiscal 2024.
The drop in income tax revenue reflects tax cuts that were enacted by Republicans this year. Republicans said the projections show their agenda creates a sustainable and robust economy.
Iowa Democrats warned that the drop foreshadows a failing state budget that will lose revenue as Republican tax cuts take effect.
HINSON, MATHIS DEBATE: The candidates for Iowa’s new 2nd Congressional District -- U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson of Marion and state Sen. Liz Mathis of Hiawatha -- on Wednesday debated abortion, inflation, infrastructure and parental rights in their first debate before the midterm election.
The pair had both previously been broadcast journalists at the station hosting the debate, KCRG-TV9.
WYOMING REPUBLICAN RALLIES STATE GOP: Harriet Hageman, the Trump-backed Wyoming Republican who beat incumbent Liz Cheney in the state’s primary election for its sole U.S. House seat, campaigned with Iowa Republicans last week in Des Moines, Bettendorf and Cedar Rapids.
In Cedar Rapids, Hageman said she is committed to removing power from the federal government and returning it to state legislators. She derided Democratic leadership for its high spending policies.
IOWA PORK PRODUCERS SLAM CALIFORNIA LAW: Iowa producers joined the national pork trade group in opposing a law that would regulate how hogs raised for pork in California can be raised.
A lawsuit brought by the National Pork Producers Council went before the U.S. Supreme Court last week, arguing the law put a heavy burden on pork producers outside California.
The California law, passed by ballot measure in 2018, dictates that any raw pork sold in the state must have been birthed by a sow that had at least 24 square feet of space. Because California represents a large part of the market and a small part of the production, national pork producers argued this would put a high cost on out-of-state producers that sell in California.
They said ...
“I am the pro-choice candidate, and I do not think that government should intervene in a woman’s right to choose or her health care." -- Democrat Liz Mathis, speaking on abortion rights in 2nd District debate.
“Under Nancy Pelosi, we’ve seen trillions of dollars spent that we don’t have. My opponent will rubber-stamp that. My first vote will be for new leadership in Washington, D.C., that will respect taxpayers.” -- Republican Ashley Hinson, speaking on inflation in 2nd District debate
Odds and ends
AUDITOR CANDIDATE WINS LAWSUIT: A jury awarded $1 million to the Republican running to be Iowa’s taxpayer watchdog in a wrongful termination case.
Todd Halbur, who is seeking the office of state auditor, said he was fired from the state’s alcohol and beverages division after raising questions about excessive price markups and payments made under a no-bid contract. The jury awarded Halbur $487,500 in back pay and $512,500 for emotional distress.
MILLIONS FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: The federal treasury department will make available up to $96 million in business development to Iowa startups and veteran-owned business, as part of a plan providing money to several states.
Iowa’s plan calls for $31 million to go to a venture capital co-investment fund, $28 million to a manufacturing loan program, $22 million for a venture capital innovation fund and $15 million for a small business support program.
COVID CASES FALLING: New COVID-19 cases in Iowa fell again the week ending on Wednesday, with 1,718 new cases reported compared to 1,853 the previous week. Hospitalizations decreased to 174, down from 196 the previous week.
HAWKEYES DEPOSED IN RACISM SUIT: The University of Iowa’s athletics director and former Hawkeye strength coach were deposed last week in a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in the Iowa football program against former Black players.
Head coach Kirk Ferentz was not deposed and is seeking dismissal of the lawsuit. Attorneys for the former players in the lawsuit said he was avoiding being questioned under oath.