The chairman of the Iowa GOP says the state’s voters have given Republicans at the statehouse a “mandate” to act on some key issues.
The Republican majority in the Iowa House will expand to 59 out of 100 seats when the legislature starts in 2017. In the Iowa Senate, Republicans will hold at least 29 of the 50 seats. Democrats had held a narrow majority for the past six years, meaning Democrats have decided what bills were passed in the senate.
With Republicans managing the debate agenda next year in both the House and Senate, Iowa GOP chair Jeff Kaufmann expects cutting taxes to be a priority.
“Decreasing the size of state government without hurting those that are most vulnerable and are most dependent on our services,” Kaufmann said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon. “…I definitely believe Iowans want us to work on a better tax environment and I defintely believe both parties have enhanced expectations for a water quality bill.”
In January, Republican Terry Branstad will enter his 23rd year as Iowa’s governor, but he’s only had a Republican-led House and Senate for two years during that long tenure. That changes on January 9, 2017, when the next legislative session starts.
“It improves the chances of doing things like water quality and tort reform and some of those things,” Branstad told reporters on Election Night, “…but it’s still not a sure thing.”
Branstad, who has two years remaining on his current term, isn’t publicly sharing a particulary long “to do” list.
“We have to do what’s right and what’s supported by the people of Iowa,” Branstad said.
The chairman of the state GOP says “several” newly-elected Republican legislators come from districts that are a mix of independents, Republicans and Democrats, so there will be an “expectation” that “all voices” will have input on legislation.