Guest Columns
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Guest column: Tax burden on Iowans reduced $1.3 billion

SAVE is the statewide penny sales tax that goes to schools for infrastructure. House File 2481 makes modifications to the uses of SAVE (Secure and Advanced Vision for Education) dollars, the distribution to the Property Tax Equity Relief (PTER) fund, and extends the sunset on the statewide penny that funds SAVE by 20 years. more

Peer recovery program offered locally

With all of the strides being made at the state level to improve the mental healthcare system in Iowa, this week I want to talk about a program that is picking up speed right here in District 97. Life Connections Peer Recovery Services is a non-profit organization that is working to improve the quality of life in both Clinton and Scott counties. more

Education adapts to prepare for future

The future of Iowa workers is the focus of the Future Ready Iowa legislation, a bipartisan action plan that was recently signed into law. more

Kidnapping bill will protect Iowans

I was honored to floor manage SF 2230, "Kidnapping in the Second Degree." This bill expands second degree kidnapping to include kidnapping of a person under the age of 18, if the kidnapper is not a parent or legal guardian with the sole purpose of assuming custody of the victim. more

Immigration law will keep communities safe

A bill to require Iowa law enforcement agencies enforce federal immigration laws awaits the governor’s signature after Senate File 481 passed this week in the House and Senate. It is the second time in nearly one year the Senate has passed this piece of legislation. more

Guest column: 'Farmers ... shouldn't be expected to bear the brunt of retaliation'

We need to protect U.S. intellectual property and American competitiveness. Foreign theft of intellectual property, forced technology transfers, discriminatory licensing restrictions and other unfair practices harm U.S. innovation and affect every sector of our economy, including agriculture. On my recent congressional delegation trip to China, I urged Chinese government officials to rein in unfair trade practices and policies, including the theft of U.S. intellectual property, which have adversely impacted American businesses. I’m concerned that my urging fell on deaf ears. more

Guest column: Trump needs to reconsider tariffs

Soybean farmers are perhaps the most vulnerable to Chinese retaliation as nearly one in every three rows of soybeans grown in the U.S. is exported to China – valued at $14 billion every year. Already, soybean prices have dropped dramatically since China’s promise to slap a 25-percent tariff on U.S. soybeans, among other commodities and goods. Although China has a growing appetite for American agricultural products, its plan to retaliate on soy, beef and pork will have a damaging effect on Iowa’s farmers and the state’s economy. more

'We are hopeful that the ... tariffs will be short-lived'

We are disappointed that China has placed an additional 25-percent tariff on U.S. pork exports. more

'We cannot lose this market'

Our state has enjoyed a long-standing and prosperous relationship with China. Iowa corn farmers have worked for decades to support fair and open trade practices because we understand that trade is a two-way street. Yet, we have operated in a tense trade policy environment with China for several years and have worked hard to diversify our customer base to create new demand for U.S. corn in all forms. more

'They are just as nervous as we are'

Iowa Soybean Association CEO Kirk Leeds isn’t surprised China included soybeans in its $50 billion retaliatory tariff action since it’s a major U.S. import. “Iowa soybean farmers understand there are legitimate issues needing resolution, particularly those involving intellectual property rights,” Leeds said. “We appreciate the importance of these matters and encourage additional dialogue between the two countries to resolve them. more

Tax and budget cuts are a formula for decline, not prosperity

The ideologues advocating for large state income tax cuts haven’t given up defending the Kansas experiment, despite overwhelming evidence that it forced drastic budget cuts while doing nothing to stimulate growth. Now they would have us believe that North Carolina provides an even better example of the benefits of the tax-slashing strategy. It doesn’t. more

New fee policy for parks and recreation areas

This week, we passed a bill regarding a new dynamic fee policy at state parks and recreational areas. Under the bill, Senate File 2389, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can establish a new fee policy for camping, the use of rental facilities, and other special privileges at state parks and recreational areas under the jurisdiction of the department. more
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