This week, republicans in the Iowa Senate plan to unveil what they say are new ideas for growing the state’s economy. Senate Co-President Jeff Lamberti, a republican from Ankeny, is keeping the details secret. Lamberti says republican senators have been spending a “significant amount of time” discussing their economic development ideas. “We believe we will have some things that are significantly different from what’s been proposed at this point,” Lamberti says. Senate Co-Leader Mike Gronstal, a democrat from Council Bluffs, says new ideas are welcome. “We look forward for (republicans in the Senate) to give us the elements of their secret plan, if that’s what they have…and look for the places in that where there’s common ground,” Gronstal says. House Democratic Leader Pat Murphy of Dubuque says any economic development plan should help small business owners get more affordable health insurance for their workers. He supports creation of a state-run “pool” which would allow businesses to join together to buy insurance. Murphy says it’s also difficult for small school districts to buy health insurance for their employees, and they might benefit from joining an insurance-purchasing network, too. Also this week, the Iowa House will debate a bill to correct a business tax problem lawmakers created this summer. Policymakers tried to help businesses by speeding up the depreciation schedule that outlines how much of a tax credit a business can claim for a piece of equipment. But many businesses found it would cost them more money to file an amended tax return for last year than the credit they’d earn, so lawmakers are letting businesses claim the new credit amount in the next tax year.
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