Unprecedented seems like an overused term this year, but it is difficult to compare 2020 to any year in recent memory. The impact of coronavirus across our state caused hardships for many Iowans.
Many farmers were forced to euthanize significant numbers of their livestock because meat packing plants were closed. Small businesses had to close their doors for a period of time, and some were never able to reopen. Parents were faced with the dilemma of managing their jobs and their children’s day to day education. Health care workers were laid off in the spring and are now being asked to work long hours to try to care for those who have gotten sick.
This year has been difficult for everyone. While it is impossible to legislate away the pandemic, Iowa Senate Republicans will be focused on helping Iowans get back on their feet, continuing to move our state forward, and creating a better future for everyone in Iowa.
Throughout the last four years, Senate Republicans have pursued a pro-growth agenda, approving policies to help small businesses and families prosper and grow in our state. We have reduced the income tax burden on working families and advanced policies to attract people to our state. Earlier this year, Iowa saw rising wages because more jobs existed than Iowans looking for work.
Iowa will return to that success again; we are already seeing our unemployment close to the pre-pandemic level and one of the lowest in the nation. We are seeing this due to the pro-growth policies and approving legislation to help more Iowans get back to work. The Legislature will continue to provide certainty through responsible budgeting and protect Iowans doing the right things through these difficult circumstances.
Conservative, responsible budgets enable Iowa to withstand the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic and still provide extra dollars for K-12 education in Iowa this year. Sound budgets can withstand an economic slowdown and provide stability both for small businesses and Iowans paying taxes and schools and public safety reliant on that funding.
Finally, as long as I am Majority Leader, Senate Republicans will continue to pursue tax relief for working Iowans. Policy that rewards work and investment, makes Iowa more competitive with other states, and creates career opportunities for Iowans. It is those career opportunities, along with strong schools and safe communities that make Iowa attractive to Americans looking for a place to live, work and raise a family.
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The success of our policies and principles is apparent. Iowans have chosen to continue in this direction, and they can be confident in knowing we will continue to build a better Iowa.
State Sen. Jack Whitver is majority leader in the Iowa Senate.