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Newscast 02.03.22: IA Senate Democrats Promote a Tax Cut Plan Focused on the Middle and Working Classes; Public Health Proclamation in Iowa at the Start of the Coronavirus Pandemic to End Feb. 15

Iowa State House
Iowa Public Radio
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The Iowa State House

News for 02.03.22

Democrats in the Iowa House and Senate proposed their own tax plan today that they say will benefit working and middle class Iowans.

It’s the minority party’s response to the Republican tax plans to phase in a flat personal income tax, cut corporate taxes, rework business credits, and eliminate taxes on retirement income.

House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst says the Democrats’ plan won’t cut taxes for millionaires and corporations.

 “The bottom line is that we are focused on making sure that money goes into the pockets of working Iowans by increasing the tax credit for dependent children, and then also cutting income taxes by doubling the Earned Income Tax Credit.” 

Democrats say they don’t have a cost estimate yet for these changes. Republican House Speaker Pat Grassley was asked about the proposal. He says his focus will continue to be on a flat personal income tax and cutting taxes on retirement income.

Governor Kim Reynolds signed the final extension of the state’s Public Health Disaster Emergency Proclamation today, announcing it will expire at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, February 15, 2022.

The proclamation was first issued in accordance with the Governor’s executive authority on March 17, 2020, to enable certain public health mitigation measures during the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over time, it included hundreds of provisions assembled in the midst of an emergency to quickly address a pandemic. Today, the remaining 16 provisions focus primarily on lingering workforce issues exacerbated by the pandemic that are best addressed outside of emergency executive powers.

Iowa will use a portion of its federal emergency rental assistance money to greatly expand services for people experiencing homelessness.

The Iowa Finance Authority is administering the new state-run Rapid Rehousing project. The group believes it can house 700 homeless families and connect thousands more to community programs such as mental health or sobriety counseling.

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