Iowa House – Thomas Gerhold, May 10, 2021

Thomas Gerhold

Hello District 75 from the State Capitol!

This past week, the House Republicans was and still are still in detailed and extensive negotiations with the Governor and Senate for the budgets this next fiscal year. Thursday, the House passed the FY 2022 Education Appropriations at $970.4 million dollars, which was about $14.5 million less than Governor Reynolds’ proposal. The House proposal includes a $6 million increase for the Community Colleges, but no increase to the three state public universities.

The Ways & Means Committee has passed House Study Bill 278 unanimously this past week that addresses tax reform. Some of the major parts of this bill are:

— the phaseout of inheritance taxes over ten years, that I and Rep. Phil Thompson proposed in March, HF 888.

— removal of triggers from the 2018 tax reform bill which ensures income tax cuts go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023

— increase eligibility of the Child Care Tax Credits from families making $45K to $90K.

— increase the percentage and raise the cap for the School Tuition Organization tax credit

–Exempt Covid-19 grant money and Paycheck Protection Plan loans from state income tax

–Require payment parity for mental health services provided via telehealth and in-person

The House passed the FY2022 Economic Development appropriations bill, HF 871, which appropriates money to the Dept. of Cultural Affairs, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Iowa Finance Authority, the Public Employment Relations Board, and Iowa Workforce Development, and the Iowa Board of Regents.

Also passed on Thursday was the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF) budget. The budget is for public vertical infrastructure projects, such as land acquisition and construction, major renovation and major repair of buildings, all appurtenant structures, utilities, recreational trails, etc. $90.2 million is appropriated from the RIIF fund for this, and $35 million form the General Fund to the Technology Reinvestment Fund.

House File 860, which is the FY 2022 appropriations for IDALS, DNR, and Environment First Fund (EFF) was passed along party lines. It appropriates $147.6 million, which includes appropriations for Renewable Fuels Infrastructure, IDALS foreign animal disease preparation efforts, an increase for IDALS administration operations, and a Value-Added Grant Program. It also a new $1 million general fund appropriation for state park repairs, maintenance, and operations.

Senate File 592, the Transportation Operations Budget, was passed unanimously by the House and goes to the Governor’s desk. This total is almost $399 million, appropriated to the DOT.

There are other budgets that still need to be mutually agreed upon by the House and Senate, and hopefully we will wrap up this session next week.

I hope you all are having a safe and healthy spring, and please be careful of farm equipment driven on our roadways!

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