As I have followed news from the state Legislature, I have been struck by the Republican focus on issues that do nothing to help Iowans. For example, they have:
• (again) curtailed the ability of municipalities large and small to set property taxes, a function core to local government and voters. Past tax cuts, combined with inadequate funding of public education, have already placed substantial strains on communities and counties.
• placed restraints on the duly-elected Iowa Attorney General (against whom they ran no candidate in 2018).
• made partisan what was a model of non-partisan judicial appointments.
I propose a common sense change in course. Legislating should be like the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm. And when possible, help. We need, for example, clean water, and we need those efforts fully funded. Recent studies show water quality deteriorating, despite last year’s band-aid legislation. We need to fully fund mental health services for both adults and children. We need solutions for flooding and crumbling infrastructure. We need child care assistance geared to 2020, not 2008, which encourages parents to get a better paying job. And so much more.
So please, GOP,allow local government to function and flourish. And above all, start helping all Iowans. Our children and grandchildren will thank you.