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Northwest Iowa democratic lawmakers share concerns with governor’s legislative priorities

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 9:09 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KTIV) - After Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds laid out her legislative priorities during her “condition of the state” speech, democrats reacted to those plans.

Kim Reynolds is proposing that Iowa cut taxes by nearly $2 billion by moving to a four-percent “flat” income tax. That tax would be phased in over four years. She also proposed repealing all state taxes on retirement income beginning next year.

The “flat tax” is something that some Democrats are open to discussing. “I’m certainly willing to take a look at it as long as the “flat tax” is targeted towards, and helps, middle-class families,” said Sen. Jackie Smith, (D) Sioux City. “That’s the goal for Senate Democrats.”

In addition to tax cuts, Reynolds used her “condition of the state” speech to promise new laws to incentivize unemployed Iowans to get a job. Reynolds proposed lowering unemployment benefits to 16 weeks-- from 26 weeks-- to insure Iowans collecting unemployment can’t turn down suitable jobs while living on taxpayer funds. Democrats are wary. “I think that there’s something a little bit wrong with the premise that they are going to force people into a form of employment, even if its not a good fit for them, or if it doesn’t match their skill sets,” said Rep. Chris Hall, (D) Sioux City. “So, my reaction is one of wariness.”

Democrats are in the minority in both the Iowa House and Senate.

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