Legislators fail to act on key issues

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: February 1 2014 | 11:17 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:59 am in

With the Legislature in session, we’ll soon be bombarded with letters from our elected officials in Des Moines. Be sure to watch for key words such as “bipartisanship” and “historic.” While last year’s agreement on property tax reform was historic and passed with bipartisan support, it’s not something to brag about. Cutting taxes for commercial and industrial property owners is expensive, and no magic backfill is going to pay for it without a hike in residential property taxes.

If Iowans have to subsidize big business to ensure their sustainability, can we truly call it free enterprise? I thought we believed in the philosophy that businesses would make it or break it, based on the principles of supply and demand.

While our elected officials ignore this inconvenient hypocrisy, it might be a good time to point out other problems that occurred last year. While Gov. Terry Branstad issued line item vetoes that cut appropriations for the Peace Officers’ Retirement Fund, the House Republicans refused to act. While Branstad’s administration refused to hire additional nursing home inspectors with money that was appropriated for that, again House Republicans refused to act.

Think about that the next time you hear elected officials talk about their concern for elder abuse. It’s time for legislators to show their concern for these issues by standing up to Branstad when he crosses the line.

David Johnson

West Branch


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