As the 2021 session nears, Iowa legislators are setting out their different agendas for pulling the state through the pandemic. It may seem there is little Republicans and Democrats agree on. But protecting our people and growing the economy are not mutually exclusive. We can do both.
Instead of giving hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to large corporations, we should invest in small business recovery and startups. Iowa-born small businesses generate two to three times more jobs over the long term than do corporations from outside the State. We should also use the tax revenue to invest in education, a proven driver of economic growth.
We should crack down on wage theft and the misclassification of employees. These abuses deprive employees of their rightful pay and benefits. They also defraud the state out of tax revenue, increase the number of people needing public assistance, and constitute unfair competition against law-abiding businesses.
Investing in childcare and broadband. Reducing the number of people in prisons for non-violent offenses. These are all ways that we can shore up the economy while leveling the playing field for the most vulnerable among us. We can do both. And we must.
Christina Bohannan is representative-elect for Iowa House District 85