DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Fresh off their success in pushing through a conservative agenda in the session that ended Saturday, Iowa Republicans say they’re already looking ahead to next year.
GOP lawmakers with majorities in both chambers plan to support legislation in 2018 that will include tax cuts, immigration enforcement and the use of public education money for private schooling. They’re also interested in adding more abortion restrictions and reinforcing gun rights.
Democrats, who continue to be in the minority, say they’re willing to work with Republicans on some issues but will push back on any legislation they consider extreme.
GOP lawmakers, who adjourned the 2017 session Saturday morning, say they’re focusing on policies that reflect the will of their constituents and create an environment that encourages economic activity.
Branstad Reflects on Historic 2017 Legislative Session
(DES MOINES) – Saturday Gov. Terry Branstad released a statement on the close of the 2017 legislative session:
“As a former legislator, former lt. governor and chief executive of the state, I’ve worked with the Legislature for 33 years. When you look at the volume and diversity of policy issues that were addressed this year, I am proud to say this has been one of the most significant and productive sessions in our history,” said Branstad. “We have given Iowa taxpayers and families a balanced budget under difficult circumstances, prioritized K-12 education funding while building a computer science foundation for our schools, provided money for family planning clinics that don’t provide abortions, protected the ballot box, strengthened our traffic safety laws, protected victims of domestic abuse and violence, solidified Iowans’ Constitutional 2nd Amendment rights, and most importantly, made Iowa more competitive for attracting business and industry. This is a long list of accomplishments that would not have been possible without the hard work of the Iowa Legislature. However, I remain disappointed that we were unable to reach consensus on a long-term, reliable and dedicated source of funding for water quality infrastructure. In the next 30 days, Lt. Gov. Reynolds and I will thoughtfully and carefully review all the bills passed, and act according to our principles.”
Lt. Gov. Reynolds Reflects on Historic 2017 Legislative Session
(DES MOINES) –Saturday Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds released a statement on the close of the 2017 legislative session:
“I’m proud of the progress we made this year in making Iowa an even greater place to live, work and raise a family. We saw legislators from both rural and urban areas come together and address many of the priorities the governor laid out in his 2017 Condition of the State Address. Iowans can be proud of their elected representatives and the hard work they put in. Although both chambers have now passed water quality funding bills, I’m disappointed that we were unable to reach consensus this year and put a bill on the governor’s desk. This issue remains of utmost importance to Iowans and I hope we are able to address it next session.
With an unemployment rate the lowest it’s been in 16 years, coupled with many of these reforms, we are truly positioned for greatness in the future. Gov. Branstad and I will take a close look at all of the budget and policy bills that were passed in the past few days, and ensure the budget remains balanced, and policies are implemented that help grow the economy and protect Iowa taxpayers and families.