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State Representative, District 1

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WILLS

State Representative

Legislative Forums
 

January 24, 2015
Sibley
11:00am -12:00pm
Sibley Community Library

406 9th Street

January 31, 2015
Rock Rapids
8:00am-9:30am
Forster Community Center
404 Main Street

February 7, 2015 
Spencer

9:00am-10:30am

Council Chambers

420 2nd Ave. West 

 

Arnolds Park 

11:30am-12:30pm

Maritime Museum

243 Broadway Street
 

February 21, 2015 

Spencer

9:00am-10:30am 

Council Chambers

420 2nd Ave. West 

 

Arnolds Park 

11:30am-12:30pm

Maritime Museum

243 Broadway Street

February 28, 2015

Rock Rapids
8:00am-9:30am
Forster Community Center
404 Main Street
 
March 7, 2015 

Spencer

9:00am-10:30am

Council Chambers

420 2nd Ave. West 

 

Arnolds Park 

11:30am-12:30pm

Maritime Museum

243 Broadway Street

 

March 21, 2015 

Spencer

9:00am-10:30am 

Council Chambers

420 2nd Ave. West 

 
Arnolds Park 

11:30am-12:30pm

Maritime Museum

243 Broadway Street

 
March 28, 2015 
Rock Rapids
8:00am-9:30am
Forster Community Center
404 Main Street
 

Legislative Update

This week marks the first week of the 86th General Assembly and my first week in Office.  I am honored to serve you as your representative. 

Please let me know if you have questions or thoughts. 

2015-16 House Republican Budget Principles
 
House Republicans are committed to these principles to produce a balanced and sustainable state budget:
 
  1. We will spend less than the state collects;
  2. We will not use one-time money to fund on-going needs;
  3. We will not balance the budget by intentionally underfunding programs; and
  4. We will return unused tax dollars to Iowa’s taxpayers.

Quick Links

Governor Branstad

 

Iowa Judicial Branch

 

Iowa Legislature

 

 Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey

 

Secretary of State Paul Pate

 

  State Auditor Mary Mosiman

 

State Senator David Johnson

 

State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald

 

U.S. Representative Steve King

 

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

 

Map of the Week

The map of the week is of the Consolidated Property Tax Rates by County for FY 2015. 

The map can be found here

On Monday January 12, I took the oath to uphold the constitution of the State of Iowa and to represent you and our seat in the Iowa House.  Please let me know what issues are important to you.

Governor Branstad Unveils Budget Proposal for FY 2016 and FY 2017
 
Governor Branstad released his proposed budgets for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017 as part of his condition of the State message on Tuesday morning.  While the budget did not play a prominent role in the Condition of the State message, Branstad’s recommendations dominated the conversations under the Golden Dome afterwards.
 
The Governor is proposing to spend $7.3410 billion in FY 2016, an increase of $346.7 million over FY 2015 or 4.95 percent.  Branstad’s FY 2016 proposal spends more money than the Revenue Estimating Conference’s December ongoing revenue estimate of $7.1946 billion. The gap between ongoing revenue and the Governor’s budget is approximately $146.4 million. 
 
For fiscal year 2017, the Governor is proposing a General Fund budget of $7.5252 billion.  This would be an increase of $184.2 million or 2.50 percent.
 
As is usually the case, the subject getting the most discussion was the Governor recommendation for state funding to local schools.  Governor Branstad is proposing to increase Supplemental State Aid by $50 million and to provide the second installment of $50 million for the teacher leadership component of the 2013 Education reform law.  AEA funding would once again be reduced by $15 million.  This increase of $84.8 million will raise State school aid funding to $3.0086 billion.  Implementation of this figure for FY 2016 would mean schools had received an additional $537.1 million from the General  Fund since FY 2011, a 21.74% increase over five years. 
 
Among the other K-12 education increases provided by the Governor in FY 2016 are $10 million for the High Need Schools program, a $1.5 million increase for the Reading Research Center, $1.0 for the Iowa Reading Corps, and $200,000 for bullying prevention.
 
For FY 2017, the Governor is recommending an additional $141.5 million for school aid, including the final allocation of $50 million for implementation of the 2013 Education Reform law.
 
Governor Branstad also proposed giving Iowa’s three state universities a 1.75% increase ($8.768 million) in their general aid funding to maintain the tuition freeze for in-state students getting their bachelor degrees. In recent weeks, the Board of Regents revised their position by stating that this funding is necessary for them to extend the freeze for a third year.  The Governor also provides $4 million to begin implementation of the Board of Regents’ performance-based funding formula.  This amount is below the $13 million requested by the Regents for the University of Iowa.
 
For community colleges, the Governor is proposing to increase community college general aid funding by 1.75 percent or $3.522 million.  For Iowa’s private colleges, the Governor is proposing to increase funding for the Tuition Grant program by $4 million.  This would be an 8.26% increase over the FY 2015 level.  The tuition grant for students at for-profit colleges would be increased by $200,000 or 10.1 percent.
 
To address the continual growth in Medicaid, the Governor is proposing major reforms.  His administration will expand the use of managed care in Medicaid and other cost containment initiatives, lowering state expenditures by $70.2 million in FY 2016.  The Governor is proposing to fund the rebasing of Medicaid rates for hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies.  At this time, the Governor is not recommending a supplemental appropriation for Medicaid in FY 2015. 
 
Another major area of discussion on Tuesday was the Governor’s decision to phase out services at the Clarinda and Mount Pleasant mental health institutes.  The potential elimination of mental health and substance abuse treatment beds at these two beds is raising questions about the ability of those in the rural parts of southern Iowa to access acute levels of care, while also putting additional pressure on the remaining two MHI’s (Cherokee and Independence) and other facilities.
 
In addition to the General Fund proposals, Governor Branstad also released his recommendations for spending from various other state funds. 
 
The Governor’s continues to provide additional resources to address ways to improve Iowa’s water quality. The Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund budget includes an increase of $3,100,000 for the state’s Water Quality Initiative and $1,920,000 to close additional ag drainage wells.  Governor Branstad is also recommending the state move forward with the revitalization of the State Historical Building.  In his budget, the Governor recommends $8.63 million in FY 2016 and $20.3 million in FY 2017 from RIIF for this purpose.
 
The Iowa Veterans Home would also have a series of infrastructure projects addressed through the Governor’s plan.  His budget recommends spending $10.8 million from RIIF in FY 2016 to address several infrastructure issues at the Iowa Veterans Home.  These include the replacement of emergency fuel tanks, laundry renovations, and air quality improvements for residents.
 
Funding is also provided for several of the Governor’s new initiatives.  To fund his IowaNext initiative for improving the quality of life in Iowa, Governor Branstad is calling for the creation of the Iowa Next Fund.  The Governor is recommending an appropriation of $26.1 million to the Iowa Next Fund in FY 2016, with $20 million coming from the State Bond Repayment Fund.  And to fund his “Connect Every Acre” initiative, the Governor is recommending spending $5 million in grants to local communities.  These dollars would come from the Technology Reinvestment Fund ($2 million) and the State Bond Repayment Fund ($3 million).
 
Consideration of the Governor’s proposal now moves to the budget subcommittees.  House budget subcommittees will begin their work on Thursday, January 15.
 
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Copyright © 2015 State Representative, John H. Wills, All rights reserved.


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