Republicans on a House committee have given initial approval to a plan that would make significant cuts in the current year’s state budget — and deposit a state surplus into a special account for tax relief. Representative Nick Wagner, a Republican from Marion, expects over $300-million will go into that tax relief account later this summer.
“That’s what’s important here. That will help our businesses. That will help everyday Iowans,” Wagner says. “That will help get Iowans back to work. That will help businesses provide jobs, provide the money that they need to invest and reinvest in their companies to provide their jobs.”
Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee tried but failed to get Republicans to continue state-support of public preschool programs. Representative Cindy Winckler, a Democrat from Davenport, argued state-support of public preschool has helped improve the quality of pre-K for the students.
“They develop better cognitive and social skills,” she said, “better relationships with classmates than in lower quality settings.” Republicans say the state can’t afford to pay for preschool for all four-year-olds. Governor-elect Branstad has proposed ending state support for all preschool and instead providing vouchers to low income parents who can’t afford to send their kids to preschool.