Iowa Lawmakers Getting Back to Work - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Iowa Lawmakers Getting Back to Work

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Iowa lawmakers will be back at work in Des Moines on Monday, the first day of the 2014 legislative session.

But, many will likely be going in with modest expectations, given that it's an election year and the schedule calls for a short session.

Still, a budget must be approved, there are some policy proposals on the table, and local lawmakers say there are issues they'd like to move forward.

"I would love to be able to decrease the personal income tax rate in the state of Iowa," Rep. Linda Miller (R-Bettendorf) said. "I think we probably have too much of the people's money and we probably need to return some it."

Rep. Miller said, after lawmakers agreed on major legislation last year like education reform, lower property taxes and healthcare for low income residents, she's not sure what they'll likely take up next. 

Sen. Joe Seng (D-Davenport) shared his predictions with us:

"I'm sure we're going to discuss the gas tax fund as far as highways and bridges," he said, while warning "we might hit a stalemate like we did last year."

"I would like to see high speed rail go through," he added.

Sen. Roby Smith (R-Davenport) has his own wish list for legislative accomplishments in this session.

"I'm going to be working on making home ownership easier for veterans," he said. "I have a bill in place to do that, so we'll see how that fairs in the legislature this year."

A program supporting veterans is also on the governor's agenda.

Gov. Terry Branstad (R) has laid out a series of small policy priorities that legislative leaders seem inclined to support like that program, as well as an expansion of internet access, a crackdown on school bullying, and job training efforts.

The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to have a perfunctory session on Monday. Gov. Pat Quinn (D) is scheduled to deliver his annual State of the State address on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.



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