Government

New tax-writing panel leader in Iowa Senate

Randy Feenstra dropping committee chairmanship to focus on race against Steve King

Sen. Randy Feenstra

R-Hull
Sen. Randy Feenstra R-Hull

DES MOINES — The developing 2020 Republican primary election in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District has caused a shake-up in committee assignments in the Iowa Senate.

Sen. Randy Feenstra, R-Hull, announced Wednesday that he is stepping down as chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee to devote more time to his campaign to unseat U.S. GOP Rep. Steve King in the June 2020 primary in the congressional district in the northwest quadrant of Iowa.

“Since regaining the majority in 2016, the Ways and Means Committee has produced significant pro-growth, pro-taxpayer reforms under my leadership,” Feenstra said in a statement. “From income tax reform to property tax reform, this committee has protected the taxpayer, rewarded work, and encouraged investment.”

Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, praised Feenstra for having “the most productive back to back sessions” of any Ways and Means Committee leader with passage of the largest income tax cut in state history in 2018 followed by this year’s property tax changes.

Feenstra will remain on the panel to work on state tax reform next session, said Whitver, who named Sen. Jake Chapman, R-Adel, to serve as new Senate Ways and Means Committee chairman. Chapman said he expected the Legislature would continue next session “to reform income taxes and reduce some of the highest tax rates in the country.”

Wednesday’s development caused some shuffling of committee assignments with Sen. Dan Dawson, R-Council Bluffs, replacing Chapman as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, will serve as chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Also, Sen. Julian Garrett, R-Indianola, will serve as the vice chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, while Sen. Ken Rozenboom, R-Oskaloosa, will replace Dawson on the Senate State Government Committee.

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