Republicans and Democrats should work together. In the Iowa Legislature, I have helped pass bipartisan bills to help Iowans such as state tax credits for solar power, the flood mitigation program and a phase out of state taxes on Social Security income.
Unfortunately, since the 2016 elections, single-party Republican control of the Iowa House, the Iowa Senate, and the Governor’s office has resulted in highly-partisan and ideological legislation that is taking away workers’ rights, denying access to health care and cutting programs that help Iowans.
Newly-elevated Gov. Kim Reynolds had the opportunity to change the tone in Des Moines by insisting on bipartisan support for legislation in 2018, but she didn’t.
Instead, flexing their one-party control, Republicans took away more rights from workers and women, ended Iowa’s bipartisan support for clean energy and passed a new round of budget cuts.
Over the last two years, they have made major mid-year cuts to our community colleges ($5.25 million) and our universities ($31.6 million).
They cut substance abuse treatment ($2.5 million), victim services ($1.7 million), and corrections ($9.1 million). They cut aging services ($640,000), the Iowa Veterans Home ($230,000), and human services ($11.6 million).
They cut the Iowa Flood Center ($328,000) and the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program for natural resources ($6 million).
They said they were making these cuts because we didn’t have the money. It turned out they actually wanted recklessly large income tax cuts, primarily for the wealthiest taxpayers.
Under the GOP tax bill, taxpayers who earn over $1 million a year in 2019 will receive an average income tax cut of $18,773 – over eighteen thousand!
By contrast, those earning between $70,000 and $80,000 a year will receive on average only $215, and those between $30,000 and $40,000 will receive on average only $92, while paying the price for more cuts to education, health care, public safety and natural resources.
The GOP tax bill also expanded sales tax collections so that working families and the middle class will pay more sales tax, effectively wiping out any income tax cut for many.
I ask for your support for my re-election, and for other Democratic candidates, to help stop Republican budget cuts that hurt Iowans and other GOP attacks on working families.
Working together, with a renewed spirit of citizenship, I still believe we can build safe, healthy, prosperous, inclusive, sustainable and growing communities across Iowa.
• Rob Hogg is the Democratic candidate in Iowa Senate District 33.