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It is really time to examine whether this is a wise use of what legislators tell us are scarce resources.
When the 2016 session began, Iowa faced a host of critical challenges. This session has done little to ease any of the major concerns, and nothing to meet them for the long term.
“The precedents being set raise uncertainties for the future governance of our state.”
Aside from fiscal impacts, sales-tax proposals and actions in Iowa ignore existing law or voters’ directives, and long traditions in the way we govern ourselves.
Economic benefits would result — perhaps more — if the penny sales tax dedicated to school infrastructure spending were not diverted, as the Governor proposes, to other purposes.
“Is it a better use of taxpayers’ money to send millions in checks to profitable companies to do research they would do anyway, or to make sure schools can hire enough teachers next fall?”
“Too often, we see public officials relying on these rankings and the policy prescriptions they promote, when in fact the rankings have no predictive value for economic growth,” said Fisher.
The path to advancements in education, economic stability and environmental stewardship — as well as other critical areas where strong public policy and institutions are necessary — rests on strong, strategic investments.
Governor Branstad’s words ring hollow in his decisions to cut education funding and to prevent greater access to child care assistance.
Iowa families took a couple of important steps forward in the 2014 legislative session, but those steps paled in comparison to lawmakers’ refusal to address long-term funding challenges for critical services.